HomeArtworksThomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel, 4th Earl of Surrey and 1st Earl of Norfolk (1585-1646), patron of art, collector and politician, with his grandson, Thomas Howard, 5th Duke of Norfolk (1627-1677)
Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, is depicted fully clad in armour, with a red sash, white collar and a staff. He was not a military man and therefore the suit of armour is intended as an indication of his nobility and rank. Arundel’s grandson, Thomas, later Duke of Norfolk, gazes at the staff and Arundel’s arm rests protectively across the boy’s shoulders. The painting demonstrates both the authority and power of Arundel, and the trust and tenderness in his relationship with his grandson.
This portrait is an early copy of Anthony van Dyck’s (1635-36; Arundel Castle, the Howard family seat). It was probably made by Henry Stone (1616-1653), a portrait painter and copyist who often copied works by van Dyck. The work was regarded by engraver and scholar George Vertue as one of the best of van Dyck’s English portraits: ‘the Armour painted with great force & skill’. Shortly after the portrait was completed, Arundel wrote to the natural philosopher Sir William Petty in Rome stating that he intended to send the portrait to Rome and commission a local sculptor to create a version in marble relief. However, no marble version is known to exist.
Sir Anthony van Dyck was born in Antwerp. Early in his career he was an assistant to Peter Paul Rubens. He first visited England between November 1620 and February 1621, where his work impressed King James I. He then travelled to Italy, staying until the autumn of 1627, before returning to Antwerp. During his time in Italy, van Dyck developed as a portrait painter, painting mostly wealthy merchant-princes. His style evolved under the influence of works by Titian and Veronese. In 1632 he returned to England, where he became 'Principal Painter in Ordinary' to Charles I. The following year he was knighted. His portraits of the royal family enhanced their prestige at home and abroad and his work had a profound influence on British portraiture.
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