English School, 16th Century Portrait of Sir Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex (1526/7-83) 80 x 66 cm. (31 ½ x 26 in.)

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Lot 6
English School, 16th Century
Portrait of Sir Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex (1526/7-83) 80 x 66 cm. (31 ½ x 26 in.)

Sold for £ 10,800 (US$ 13,998) inc. premium
English School, 16th Century
Portrait of Sir Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex (1526/7-83) , three-quarter-length, in the robes, collar and George of the Order of the Garter, holding the Lord Chamberlain's white rod
inscribed with the sitter's coat-of-arms (upper left) and bears inscription 'Erle of suffex Lord Chamberlyn to/her maiestiejustis in care from trent/Southward, Captayne of the honotabl/band of gentilmen peneioners, and one/of her maiefties most honorable privy/Counsell` (upper right)
oil on panel
80 x 66 cm. (31 ½ x 26 in.)

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Godfrey Williams Collection
    Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 4th October, 1946, lot 104 (bought by Arcade Galleries)

    LITERATURE:
    Roy Strong, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, HMSO, 1969, p.310


    The present portrait is one of the more interesting likenesses of the sitter to have survived, being three-quarter-length (where many are half-length) and showing him in the robes, collar and George of the Order of the Garter with the Lord Chamberlain's white rod. Those known portraits of Sussex are all derived from an original painted circa 1565, which was used for the rest of his life as the sole pattern for the production of his portraits. The present portrait can be counted among those that post-date his appointment as Lord Chamberlain in 1572, since he is depicted here holding the white rod of this office. Sir Roy Strong suggests that the portrait formula is one ultimately derived from Antonio Mor and the original picture may well have been by Steven van der Meulen, who worked very closely in this manner in England during the 1560s. Other versions of the portrait that fall after 1572 include those in the National Portrait Gallery (NPG 105), Knole and Hardwick Hall (mislabelled as Lord Burghley; See Roy Strong, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p.310)

    Thomas Radcliffe, politician, diplomat and courtier, was the eldest son of Henry Radcliffe, second earl of Sussex, to whose title he succeeded in 1557. His early career was marked by military activity, Radcliffe participating in Henry VIII's French campaign in 1544 and then under Edward VI holding command against the Scots at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547. On the accession of Mary I he was instrumental in suppressing Wyatt's rebellion and later assisted in the Queen's marriage negotiations with Philip II of Spain, with whom he became a favourite. The Queen appointed him Lord-Deputy of Ireland in 1556 and he survived in this role after the accession of Elizabeth I, only being recalled in 1564 after he failed to subdue the rebel, Shane O'Neill. In 1569 he was appointed Lord President of the North and in the same year dealt successfully with the rebellion of the northern earls. His diplomatic skills were also made use of by the Queen when he was employed to negotiate her abortive marriage negotiations with the Archduke Maximilian (1567) and the Duke of Anjou (1571 and 1578).
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