Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639) diplomat and writer

British 17th century unknown

Oil on canvas

c.1630-1650
  • About the work
    Location
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Whitehall

    This portrait by an unknown artist relates to similar portraits at Eton College and the National Portrait Gallery (NPG), painted in about 1630. However, the Eton and NPG versions do not include the letter and inkstand seen here. While some consider the Eton portrait to be the primary example, from which all versions are derived, others have suggested that, in view of the crude technique demonstrated by even the Eton portrait, all surviving versions are derived from a now lost original.

    At Kingston Lacy (National Trust) in Dorset there is a miniature copy of the Eton portrait, painted in enamel on copper. This is one of 50 such miniatures in the Kingston Lacy collection, all painted by enamel painter Henry Bone (1755-1834). Bone’s squared up preparatory drawing for the work is also in the NPG.

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  • Details
    Title
    Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639) diplomat and writer
    Date
    c.1630-1650
    Medium
    Oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 76.00 cm, width: 63.50 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Squadron Leader Wheeler, April 1961
    Inscription
    bottom right on letter: To / Sr. Henry Wotton / Provost of Eaton [sic] / Colledg [sic]
    Provenance
    Collection of Squadron Leader T. Wheeler of 108 Grove End Gardens, London, NW8; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in 1961
    GAC number
    5469