The Chawton House/Hever Castle Portrait
Called Elizabeth I ca.1555
Unknown artist
Oil on panel
53.4 x 38 cm
Hever Castle

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     In an appendix to his biography of Jane Grey published in 1909, Richard Davey itemized over two dozen paintings and engravings said to depict Jane. Number 6 on that list is characterized as ‘a curious portrait, probably of Lady Jane Grey, in the possession of J. Knight, Esq., of Chawton House, Alton’.[1] The house survives, in large part due to its connection to the popular novelist Jane Austen, whose brother Edward Austen Knight owned the house early in the nineteenth century.[2] But in 2010, I was informed by administrators of the house that most of the artworks had long since been removed.[3] Despite extensive searching, the lack of detail in Davey’s description made locating the Chawton Portrait seemingly impossible.

     Then in August 2013, as part of a discussion of the Syon House Portrait on Tamise Chaplin’s Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide, contributor Lee Porritt mentioned the portrait seen above, now at Hever Castle and identified as Elizabeth I circa 1555. I contacted Hever Castle in an attempt to research the portrait’s obvious relationship to the Syon House Portrait. I was surprised to learn that the portrait had originated at Chawton House. Given that the portrait at Hever Castle and the Syon House Portrait are so similar, and that the Syon House Portrait has always been identified as Jane Grey, I must conclude that the Hever portrait is, in fact, the Chawton Portrait mentioned by Davey in 1909. I have now begun the process of studying this latest addition to the body of early portraits identified, at least at one point in their history, as Lady Jane Grey.
     The portrait is reputed to have been ‘with Jane Austen, Chawton House, Hampshire’ early in the nineteenth century, though actual personal possession by Jane Austen is unlikely.[4] The portrait is instead first recorded in 1909 in the possession of the Knight family, owners of Chawton House.[5] The Knights and their heirs have held Chawton from its initial construction in the 1580s through to the present. But in 1919, crippling death duties required Lt. Colonel Lionel Knight to begin selling off certain contents of the house.[6] Most of the artworks, with the exception of family portraits, were sold between 1919 and the 1950s, first by Lionel Knight and then by his son and heir, Captain Edward Knight. Details on the removal from Chawton of this specific picture are not known, but it was eventually acquired by the Richard Philp Gallery, founded in 1966, under an identification as Elizabeth I.[7] The painting next appeared with the Weiss Gallery (London) in 1995 as part of an exhibition of Tudor and Stuart portraits.[8] Following the Weiss exhibition, the portrait was acquired by Hever Castle Ltd.
      As noted above, the painting was first cited in 1909, as one among many portraits said to depict Jane Grey, in an appendix to novelist-historian Richard Davey’s influential The Nine Days’ Queen: Lady Jane Grey and Her Times. Davey characterized the picture as ‘a curious portrait, probably of Lady Jane Grey’.[9] I have been unsuccessful in my exhaustive efforts to locate any other scholarly mention of the portrait whatsoever, whether prior to 1909 or between then and the Weiss exhibition of 1995.[10] The portrait largely appears to have escaped notice until quite late in its history.
      Davey’s identification of the painting as a depiction of Jane Grey is, as stated, the first discoverable mention of the portrait in the historical record.[11] His basis for associating the portrait with Jane is unclear, however. It is not presently known who the Knights understood the sitter to be prior to 1909, nor whether their understanding differed from Davey’s own. The tentative nature of Davey’s assertion may indicate that he made the identification de novo after comparing the sitter to those seen in other portraits then called ‘Jane Grey’. In his appendix to The Nine Days’ Queen, Davey commented at varying lengths on eleven painted or engraved portraits, supplemented by a list of nine additional ones without commentary, many of the latter from the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Only two among the total of twenty bear any resemblance whatsoever to the Chawton House/Hever Castle Portrait, however, so that only those two could potentially have been Davey’s reference image. The first is a small round painting in the National Portrait Gallery (NPG 764). That unidentified sitter’s hair is straight rather than curly, however, while her head is turned slightly to her proper right and her costume and jewels are entirely different. The second potential comparison image was described by Davey as an engraving by Vertue taken ‘from a contemporary miniature at Strawberry Hill’, the estate of the collector and antiquarian Horace Walpole, the original of which was supposedly in the National Portrait Gallery. Vertue did indeed produce several engraved depictions of Jane Grey, but none can have been based on any miniature under that same identification in the Strawberry Hill collection since the collection contained no such miniature.[12] More probably, Davey’s reference image may have been Vertue’s very popular and widely circulated engraving of the Syon House Portrait. The similarities between the Chawton House/Hever Castle Portrait and the Syon House Portrait will be discussed at length below.

      It is noteworthy that Sir Roy Strong made no mention of the Chawton Portrait in any of his many published studies of Tudor portraiture in general or of the iconography of Elizabeth I in particular.[13] The first instance in which he expressed a written opinion on the portrait would appear to have been as late as the Weiss catalogue of 1995. Strong compared the Chawton Portrait to an apparently contemporary one previously sold through Christie’s auction house in 1979 (below, top left), the Cloth of Estate Portrait, noting that it ‘uses a similar head’.[14] Strong argued further that the head in the Chawton Portrait ‘would appear to be the same as that used by the illuminator Levina Teerlinc to decorate the indenture for the Poor Knights of Windsor, an illustrated manuscript of 1559’ (below, top right).[15] He observed as well that ‘the face pattern also corresponds to a group of other portraits which once were considered contemporary and in two of which Elizabeth is depicted in her coronation robes; enigmatically, they all in fact date from the years surrounding the Queen’s death’ (below, bottom left and right).[16]
Elizabeth I, ca.1566
‘The Cloth of Estate Portrait’

Circle of Hans Eworth
Oil on panel
Size unknown
Private collection
Elizabeth I
Poor Knights of Windsor Charter

Attributed to Levina Teerlinc
30 August 1559
Gouache or tempra on vellum
Miniature of unknown dimensions
National Archives, E 36/277
Elizabeth I
‘The Hilliard Coronation Miniature’

Nicholas Hilliard
Gouache or tempra on card
8.9 x 5.6 cm
Private collection
Queen Elizabeth I
in Coronation Robes

Unknown artist
Oil on wood panel
127.3 x 99.7 cm
National Portrait Gallery, NPG 5175
      The faces in the Chawton House Portrait and the Cloth of Estate Portrait are indeed exceedingly similar, just as Strong argued. Yet most of the other elements common to the two paintings, including the headgear, jewels, gown, coat, and even the background, are markedly different. Even if we accept that a common face pattern was used, that pattern was certainly limited to only the face itself, and perhaps the ruff. Yet the entirety of the Chawton Portrait, including the face, the costume and the background, bears a much more extensive, even striking, similarity to at least three other portraits, two of which have always been identified not as Elizabeth I but rather as Lady Jane Grey.

      The first in this larger group to which the Chawton House Portrait appears to belong is the Syon House Portrait, which dates to the second decade of the seventeenth century. Despite having been created more than half a century after Jane’s death, the Syon House Portrait may nonetheless very well be an authentic likeness of Lady Jane. It was commissioned by Jane’s nearest surviving Seymour in-laws and bears a painted inscription partially concealed in the integrated trompe l’oeil frame explicitly identifying the sitter as ‘Queen Jane Grey’.[17] That inscription appears to have been placed by the original artist, clear indication that the portrait was created very specifically as a depiction of Lady Jane. Additionally, Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford and one of the three most probable commissioning patrons, was still living when the painting was created, and he had known Jane quite well in his own youth. It is unlikely that he would have misidentified the sitter. The identification went unchallenged until the early 1960s, when Strong suggested the possibility that the sitter might be Elizabeth I. Strong equivocated, however, characterizing the identification as ‘a borderline case’ that was supported only by ‘the full frontal image ... entirely consistent with the early Elizabeth iconography’.[18] Three decades later, in 1995, he noted that the Syon House Portrait was ‘still to be proven as depicting Elizabeth’.[19] Recent research indicates that the original identification as Lady Jane Grey is correct, though the painting is not a life portrait.[20] If Strong based his identificaiton of the Chawton Portrait on his own prior conclusion that the very similar Syon House Portrait depicted Elizabeth rather than Jane, he was actually working from an erroneous premise.

      Very like the Chawton House Portrait, the Syon House Portrait features a young woman positioned full-frontal and wearing a close-fitting black hood, ruff, high collared black gown and coat, and a double-looped necklace. Nonetheless, there are several conspicuous differences. Unlike in the Chawton Portrait, the crown of the hood is readily visible in the Syon House Portrait. The sitter’s hair has definite regularly-shaped curls in the Chawton Portrait but appears essentially straight in the Syon Portrait. Both the face and the ruff are wider in the former, and the sitter in the Syon has a pronounced cleft in her chin. The sitter’s black gown and coat are extensively embroidered in the Chawton Portrait, but not in the Syon Portrait. The Chawton lady’s necklace is a gold chain and medallion while the Syon lady wears a knotted strand of pearls. Lastly, the Chawton sitter’s hands are visible while those of the Syon lady are not. Yet despite these differences, it would be exceedingly difficult for any viewer to deny that the two paintings appear, at minimum, to have been based upon a single common reference image, perhaps even one upon the other.

       A third portrait likewise appears to have been based on a pattern common to the entire group. The Berry-Hill Portrait (below, left) was held for almost 60 years by the Metropolitan Museum of Art with an identification as ‘Lady Jane Grey’ before being de-accessioned in 1956.[21] It was sold through Parke Bernet in that year, and by 1960 was with the Berry-Hill Galleries of New York. Its current location is unknown, making it impossible to study it properly.[22] Nonetheless, the Berry-Hill Portrait is obviously almost identical to the Syon House Portrait of Jane Grey, but for the very notable exception of the presence in the Berry-Hill, just as in the Chawton, both of the sitter’s hands holding a pair of gloves and of a single simple ring on the right index finger. This ‘middle-ground’ composition, employing as it does selected details from both the Chawton House and Syon House Portraits, further supports the very great likelihood of a reliance by the separate artists on a common pattern or reference image.
Portrait of a Lady, formerly Lady Jane Grey
‘The Berry-Hill Portrait’

Unknown artist
Date unknown
Oil on wood panel
32.3 x 22.9 cm
Current location unknown
A Young Lady
‘The Gardner Soule Portrait’

Attributed to Clouet
Date unknown
Oil on wood panel
33.7 x 27.9 cm
Current location unknown
      The fourth portrait in the group is the Gardner Soule Portrait (above, right), so called because its last known owner, in 1961, was believed to be the New York-based author Gardner Soule. This painting is unique within the group in that its sitter has never been named.[23] But like the Berry-Hill, its current whereabouts are uncertain. It is known only through a single black-and-white photograph from the 1950s now deposited in the Sitter File for Elizabeth I at the Heinz Library at the National Portrait Gallery (London). This too is a ‘middle-ground’ portrait that incorporates elements from both the Chawton House Portrait and the Syon House Portrait. The crown of the hood is unseen, the hair is curled, and the ruff is wider in the Soule, just as in the Chawton House Portrait, while the faces in the Soule and Chawton are proportionally wider than those in either the Syon or Berry-Hill Portraits. And like the Syon and Berry-Hill ladies, the Soule lady wears a plain black gown and coat topped by a knotted strand of pearls. But as if to further confuse the matter, the single available photograph of the Soule portrait reveals the presence in the upper-right corner of an inscription reading ‘ÆTATIS SUÆ 20 1602’. That would seem to associate the Gardner Soule Portrait with a sitter who was 20 years old in the year before Elizabeth’s death in 1603, though it is entirely possible that the inscription is not original to the painting.

      Strong’s assertion that the face of the Chawton Portrait ‘would appear to be the same as’ that of Elizabeth as she is depicted in the Poor Knights of Windsor charter (above) is difficult to sustain. In contrast to his later statement regarding the charter, Strong had earlier argued that ‘the majority of portraits on official documents are debased images, churned out with slight variations in pattern’.[24] As if to prove Strong’s earlier argument, the face in the incipit illumination of the Poor Knights Charter is little more than a generic two-dimensional cartoon or caricature of an ill-distinguished face, very naively rendered and utterly without detail. It is, as Strong himself noted, directly comparable to a very large number of other illuminations, all very nearly identical, depicting Elizabeth and seen in a variety of governmental documents issued throughout her reign.[25] Further, markedly similar images had been used previously for Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I and would be used in future for James I.[26] If a ‘pattern’ exists in relation to the Poor Knights charter illumination, it is a pattern specifically for use on official documents.

      Strong also postulated that the pattern he detected may have been the basis for both the Coronation Portrait by an unknown artist and the Coronation Miniature by Nicholas Hilliard, both of which date to about 1600.[27] Those two portraits depict Elizabeth’s hair unbound and flowing, however, while the hair is bound in almost all of the document illuminations from Elizabeth’s reign, including in the Poor Knights charter. Additionally, the detail in the costume is exquisite in both the Coronation Portrait and the Hilliard miniature, while the costumes in the illuminations are almost devoid of detail, especially in the Poor Knights portrait. Lastly, Elizabeth wears a substantial close-fitting necklace, an equally substantial collar, a thick girdle chain, and three rings in both the Coronation Portrait and the Hilliard miniature, but has no necklaces, collars, girdle chains, or rings in the overwhelming majority of document illuminations. It would seem, therefore, that the Coronation Portrait and the Hilliard miniature were either based one upon the other (being contemporary in likely date of creation) or on some third but unknown image, and not on the Poor Knights (or any other) manuscript illumination.

      The jewels seen in the group that includes the Chawton Portrait are perhaps crucial to correctly identifying the sitter in each, especially the lady in the Chawton Portrait. Art historians have noted that jewels played a hugely important role in Elizabeth’s portraiture throughout her reign, serving in part to convey her royal magnificence.[28] This was true even very early in her reign. In each of two miniature portraits from the first years of her reign, for example, she wears extensive jewels. In the first (below, top left), a gold pendant set with five stones plus a large pendant pearl are all suspended from a gold festoon necklace also set with gemstones and seed pearls. She wears as well atop her coat a much longer and much heavier second necklace of goldwork balls and other shapes that appear to be set with more seed pearls and perhaps other small gemstones. Her coat is embellished with at least six pairs of enameled gold aiglettes and five gold ouches or buttons each set with a single gemstone. The band or billiment across her coif of tissue cloth of gold appears also to be comprised of goldwork, again set with small gemstones. Even the sleeves of her chemise of tissue cloth of gold are embroidered with clusters of seed pearls.[29] The second miniature (below, top right) is very much like the first, though the coif has been replaced by a French hood bordered at the front by a nether billiment and at the rear by an upper billiment, both consisting of pieces of goldwork set with multiple gemstones. Beneath her black coat, now lined in parti-coloured fur and heavily embroidered with gold thread, she again wears the same chemise of pearl-embellished tissue cloth of gold and the same festoon necklace with its gem-set pendant.[30]

Elizabeth I
attributed to Nicholas Hilliard
Circa 1565
Watercolour on vellum laid on playing card
4.5 cm
Royal Collection, RCIN420987

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Elizabeth I
Attributed to Nicholas Hilliard
Circa 1560–5
Watercolour on vellum laid on card
5.2 cm
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Elizabeth I
(The Clopton Portrait)

English School
Circa 1558
Oil on wood panel
67.5 x 48.9 cm
Private Collection
Elizabeth I
Unknown artist

Oil on wood panel
Circa 1560
39.4 x 27.3 cm
National Portrait Gallery (London), NPG 4449
      These two miniatures are believed to be contemporaneous with both the Clopton Portrait (above, bottom left) and NPG4449 (above, bottom right), in both of which Elizabeth wears a heavy necklace constructed of pieces of quatrefoil goldwork set with single square gemstones, alternating with pieces of concealed goldwork set with five pearls, four of which surround a fifth central pearl. A grand pendant of figured goldwork set with a single massive square stone hangs from the necklace, and a huge teardrop pearl is in turn suspended from the pendant.[31] The same pendant is also seen in the Cloth of Estate Portrait of Elizabeth, though the necklace to which it is attached there is slightly different than in the Clopton Portrait or NPG4449. What is clear from these five early portraits of Elizabeth — the only fully authenticated portraits known from the first decade of her reign — is that Elizabeth was most commonly depicted wearing jewels of significant and even impressive size. Yet the sitter in the Chawton House Portrait wears only a simple double-looped gold Venetian-link chain, from which is suspended a rope-edged gold medallion engraved and embossed with scrollwork and center-set with a single small square-cut stone. The Chawton sitter’s jewels are thus quite modest and do not convey any of the queenly ‘magnificence’ so commonly seen throughout virtually all of Elizabeth’s other portraiture. In other words, the Chawton House Portrait is a significant anomaly in the context of portraiture of Elizabeth I.

      The modesty of the Chawton sitter’s jewels is instead much more consistent with Jane Grey’s posthumous reputation for personal modesty and with what is currently the earliest known interpretation of that modesty, the Syon House Portrait – again, the single strongest candidate for being an authentic likeness of Jane.[32] If the Chawton Portrait does indeed reference some pattern that was also utilized for the Syon, Berry-Hill, and Soule portraits, it is necessary to enquire whether that pattern was for some reason embellished to produce the more nearly ‘regal’ Chawton Portrait. In fact, other instances of such ‘dressing up’ are already known to have occurred in the specific context of the iconography of Jane Grey. The seventeenth-century engraver Robert White, for example, found the portrait from which he derived his engraving of Jane Grey too austere, compelling him to embellish the final engraved image with the addition of fur trim and gem-set ouches to the gown, a pearl billiment to the headgear, as well as embriodery to the edge of the kerchief (below).[33] It is therefore highly possible that the same ‘dressing up’ occurred in regard to the Chawton House Portrait. Potential reasons for embellishing Jane’s costume in specifically the Chawton Portrait could range from simple visual aesthetics on the part of either the artist or his patron to a desire by either party to express a personal religious dissociation from the more religously and politically radical and plain-dressing groups that would later become known as ‘Puritans’.[34]
A lady called Lady Jane Grey
by English School
oil on canvas
75 x 58.5 cm
Dunham Massey Hall, Cheshire, UK
Called Lady Jane Dudley (née Grey)
by Robert White
line engraving, published 1681
31.9 x 19.6 cm
National Portrait Gallery, NPG D109031
      The Chawton House/Hever Castle Portrait must, for the moment, be included among the group that Sir Roy Strong has ambivalently characterized as ‘borderline cases’, for two reasons. First, and most obviously, the Chawton House/Hever Castle Portrait bears an undeniable iconographic relationship to the others in that group: the Syon House, Berry-Hill, and Gardner Soule Portraits. All four appear to have been based upon some common pattern or original reference image. That reference image may even be one from within the group, in which case all four sitters may well be the same person. Yet there are clear variations in composition, costume, and even personal physical attributes across the group. None of those variations are extreme enough in and of themselves to compel a conclusion that the sitters are different persons. Even the variations in minor physical attributes (e.g.: hair texture, relative facial width, etc.) are commonly seen within the corpus of portraiture of Elizabeth I and can often be ascribed to the skill or inclinations of the different individual artists who created the respective images. There is nonetheless a possibility that the larger group of ‘borderline’ portraits, or what I will call ‘the Syon Portrait and its variants’, actually contains two or more sub-groups, each depicting different sitters. And it is possible that those sitters are related in some way, just as Jane Grey and Elizabeth Tudor were cousins. Did the artist who created the posthumous Syon House Portrait utilize a pattern derived from Elizabeth’s early portraiture to depict her cousin of almost the same age, alerting the pattern to make Jane’s appearance in the Syon House Portrait distinct from that of her cousin Elizabeth? The msot reliable only way to investigate this issue is to conduct dendrochronological analyses of the entire group in order to determine some chronological order of their production. But other than the Syon House Portrait, which has already been tested, only the Chawton House/Hever Castle Portrait can at present be located. Nonetheless, if a dendrochronological analysis of the Chawton/Hever should happen to reveal a date of creation before about 1565, after which time all images of Elizabeth assumed significantly different appearance, Strong’s identification of the sitter as Elizabeth I might prevail. But if an analysis should demonstrate that the Chawton/Hever dates to sometime after about 1565, it would be far more likely that the portrait depicts Jane Grey, since virtually no similar-appearing authenticated portraits of Elizabeth from later in her reign or after her death are known. I have submitted a written request to the administrators of Hever Castle Ltd for their kind consideration of undertaking a dendrochronological anaylsis of the Chawton House/Hever Castle Portrait, in hopes of resolving the issue. I am hopeful that they will be sufficiently interested to oblige my request.
  J. Stephan Edwards, Ph.D.
Palm Springs, California
6 December 2013
Richard Davey, The Nine Days Queen: Lady Jane Grey and Her Times (London: Methuen, 1909), 361.
Jane Austen sometimes lived in a cottage on the estate. In 1993, the Leonard X. Bosack and Bette M. Kruger Foundation purchased a 125-year lease on the house and began a lengthy restoration. The house opened in 2003 as the Chawton House Library and, in association with the University of Southampton, now houses the The Centre for the Study of Early English Women's Writing, 1600-1830.
Electronic communication, Ray Moseley, Fundraising, Marketing and Friends Administrator, Chawton House Library, 1 April 2010.
Jane Austen resided as a guest at Chawton Cottage in the village of Chawton, rather than at Chawton House. Austen was financially dependent upon her brother Edward Austen Knight and was herself never sufficiently solvent to have been able to spend funds on such luxury pursuits as portrait collecting. She is equally unlikely to have inherited the painting, having come from a very modest background. See Dierdre Le Faye, Jane Austen: A Family Record, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).
A small number of inventories of the principal Knight manors of Godmersham Park (Kent), Chawton (Hampshire), and Steventon (Hampshire) are stored in various archives, those inventories do not individually itemize or identify any of the paintings in those residences. Similarly, numerous wills left by both male and female members of the Knight family also survive, but none mention individual portraits. The first documentation of the existence of the portrait appears to be that by Davey (see note 1).
Sarah Perry, ‘The Pemberley Effect: Austen’s Legacy to the Historic House Industry’, Persuasions 30 (2008), 114.
Electronic communication, Richard Philp, 10 September 2013. Mr Philp was unable to provide any additional details regarding his acquisition and sale of the picture, including the precise year in which he purchased it.
Mark Weiss and Sir Roy Strong, Tudor and Stuart Portraits, exh. cat. (London: Wiess Gallery, 1995), Item 8.
Davey, Nine Days Queen, 362. .
Numerous wills for successive Knight-family owners of Chawton House survive, but none mention any artworks by name, whether at Chawton or the other Knight manors of Godmersham Park (Kent) and Steventon (Hampshire). See National Archives, PROB 11/42B/380r–380v, Will of John Knight dated 28 September 1559; PROB 11/66, 223v–225r , Will of Nicholas Knight dated 9 October 1583; PROB 11/137/129r–130v, Will of John Knight (II) dated 15 August 1617 with multiple codicils; PROB 11/152/201v–202r, Will of Stephen Knight dated 7 February 1627; PROB 11/189/307r–308r, Will of Richard Knight dated 16 January 1641; PROB 11/465/315v–316r, Will of Christopher Knight dated 1 August 1702; PROB 11/688/199v–203r, Will of Elizabeth Knight dated 8 April 1736 with codicil dated 24 February 1736/7. This last established a trust whereby ‘all ... Pictures and other furniture in the said house [of Chawton] be constantly kept there and remain there as heirlooms and not be removed or sold’. Only one household inventory for any of the three Knight manors is known. An inventory of Chawton House dated 1679 includes 17 ‘pictures’, but none are described in sufficient detail to make them identifiable. See William Austen Leigh and George Montagu Knight, Chawton Manor and Its Owners: A Family History (London: Smith & Elder, 1911), 200–204. A search of and/or correspondence with the National Archives, the Hampshire Record Office, the Kent Library and Record Centre, and the Godmersham Park Heritage Centre failed to produce any additional inventories for either Chawton House or the other Knight estates.
The painting conspicuously escaped notice in any of three articles that appeared in early issues of Country Life magazine, including two penned by Christopher Hussey, despite the inclination of both the magazine and that particular author to mention portraits of historical interest. See ‘Chawton House, Hants., the Seat of Mr. M.G. Knight’, Country Life XIII, no.338 (27 June 1903), 874–881; Christopher Hussey, ‘Chawton House, Hampshire — I: The Home of Captain Edward Knight’, Country Life (2 February 1945), 200–203 and ‘Chawton House, Hampshire — II: The Home of Captain Edward Knight’, Country Life (9 February 1945), 244–247. Neither was it mentioned in any of Sir Roy Strong’s many studies of portraiture of Elizabeth I nor in his works on Tudor portraiture in general. See note 13 below. See also note 5 above.
Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill Collection online database (Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University), accessed 5 December 2013.
See, for example, Roy Strong, Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963); Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, (London: HMSO, 1969); The Cult of Elizabeth: Elizabethan Portraiture and Pageantry (London: Thames and Hudson, 1977); Gloriana: The Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1987); The English Icon: Elizabethan and Jacobean Portraiture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987); The Tudor and Stuart Monarchy: Pageantry, Painting and Iconography (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1995).
Weiss and Strong, Tudor and Stuart Portraits, f.12v.
Weiss and Strong, Tudor and Stuart Portraits, f.12v. Strong’s attribution to Teerlinc of the illumination has since been challenged. See, for example, Felix Pryor, Elizabeth I: Her Life in Letters (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), 139, n. 22.
Weiss and Strong, Tudor and Stuart Portraits, f.12v.
Dendrochronological analysis has dated the Syon House Portrait of Jane Grey to sometime after 1602, most probably between 1610 and 1620. Edward Seymour (1539–1621), 1st Earl of Hertford, eventually wed Jane’s sister, Katherine Grey, in 1560, becoming Jane’s posthumous brother-in-law. The Syon House Portrait may have been commissioned by Hertford, by his son Edward, Viscount Beauchamp of Hache (d.1612), or by his grandson William, Lord Seymour (Earl of Hertford after 1621 and Duke of Somerset after 1660). All were living throughout the period between 1610 and 1620. Beauchamp and the Lord Seymour were Elizabeth I’s legal successors to the English throne under the terms of the Act of Succession of 1543 and of the last will and testament of Henry VIII, both men being descended from Henry’s younger sister Mary Tudor Brandon via Frances Brandon Grey and her daughter Katherine Grey Seymour. The Syon House Portrait was commissioned to accompany a similar portrait, still at Syon House, that depicts Katherine Grey Seymour holding an infant Edward, Viscount Beauchamp. The two portraits at Syon of the Grey sisters are just the first links in a chain of dynastic portraits that anchor the Seymour Dukes of Somerset directly to the Crown of England.
Strong, Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, 53.
Strong, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, I:109
See The Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 13:1 (January 1918), 16. Prior to 1917, the picture was held in the private collection of J. Pierpont Morgan. In December 1917, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) acquired the entire Morgan Collection, including the Berry-Hill Portrait identified as ‘Lady Jane Grey’. The painting’s provenance prior to 1917 is unknown.
While with Parke Bernet, the portrait was labeled Portrait of a Lady. See Strong, Portraits, 54. Extensive efforts to locate the painting, including contacting Mr James Berry Hill, current chairman of the Berry-Hill Gallery, have been unsuccessful.
The Gardner Soule Portrait enters the historical record in 1937 through sale by Christie’s on 24 May of that year as Lot 131, ‘A Young Lady by Clouet’. It was later recorded with Madame de Saint Jean, Manoir of St Jean (Jersey) before being again sold through Christie’s in 1954 (sale of 12 February 1954, Lot 12, ‘A Girl by Clouet’). It was purchased by Leger Galleries and was with Gardner Soule in New York by 1961.
Strong, Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, 31 .
See, for example, letters patent creating William Cecil as Baron Burghley, dated 1571, the incipit illumination of which is also attributed to Teerlinc (Burghley House Collection, MUNI8518), the incipit for the Coram Rege Rolls for the Court of King’s Bench throughout Elizabeth’s reign (e.g.: National Archives KB 27/1239, 27/1241/2, 27/1289/2, 27/1309/2, or E 36/277), or the Grant of Manor of Sampford Courtenay to King’s College, Cambridge dated 23 December 1601 (King’s College Archives KCAR/6/2/140/6 SAC/62).
It must be noted that the central enthroned figures in incipit illuminations in some documents for Mary’s reign are distinguishable from any of those seen in documents from Elizabeth’s reign only in that Mary sometimes holds a sword of justice (rather than a sceptre) in her right hand and her left hand is empty (e.g.: National Archives KB 27/1168/2) or she wears a French hood rather than a crown imperial (KB 27/1178/2). The face of Mary as seen in document illuminations is essentially indistinguishable from that of Elizabeth. Further, though the clothing changed with each new reign, the basic pattern of crowned and robed monarch enthroned, sceptre in right hand, orb in left, remained unchanged until the mid seventeenth century and the Commonwealth period.
John Fletcher, ‘The Date of the Portrait of Elizabeth I in her Coronation Robes’, The Burlington Magazine 120:908 (Nov. 1978), 753.
Philip Mould Ltd., Historical Portraits Image Library, The Clopton Portrait. Accessed 20 November 2013.
Miniature portrait of Elizabeth I, circa 1560 in the Royal Collection. Accessed 25 November 2013.
Miniature portrait of Elizabeth I, circa 1565 in the Royal Collection. Accessed 25 November 2013.
Art dealer-historian Philip Mould has identified the pendant attached to the necklace as ‘The Mirror of France’, a jewel inherited from Henry VIII. See note 28 above.
Numerous portraits sometimes identified as Jane Grey and dating to the period between 1555 and 1600 depict the sitter in the full finery of the day, indicating an almost paradigmatic connoisseurial expectation that portraits of Jane should necessarily depict her in the colors, fabrics, and jewels customarily associated with women of her social rank and economic status. The sitters in all of those pre-1600 portraits have in recent years been re-identified as other persons, however. See especially the Houghton, Jersey, Melton Constable, Northwick, Streatham, and Van de Passe Portraits, plus the Yale Miniature
The painted portrait from which White worked (the Dunham Massey copy of the Wrest Park Portrait) has long been thought a posthumous depiction of Jane Grey, but its original reference image has recently been re-identified as a portrait of Mary Nevill Fiennes, Lady Dacre early in her widowhood. See Bendor Grosvenor and David Starkey, Lost Faces: Identity and Discovery in Tudor Royal Portraiture, exh. cat., Philip Mould Ltd., 85–86, in which the Wrest Park Portrait is characterized as ‘a consciously historical portrait, which would perhaps suggest that it is posthumous’. See also J. Stephan Edwards, ‘A Life Framed in Portraits: An Early Portrait of Mary Nevill Fiennes, Lady Dacre’, The British Art Journal 19:2 (in press).
Even Strong noted the practice among portraitists working from a pattern sometimes to alter the costume of the sitter. See Strong, Portraits of Queen Elizabeth, 10.
    Introduction to Portraiture of Lady Jane Grey
    The Althorp Portrait     The Anglesey Abbey Portrait  
    The Bodleian Library Portrait     The Elliot–Gedling House Portrait  
    The Fitzwilliam Museum Portrait     The Houghton Hall Portrait  
    The Jersey Portrait     The King’s College Portrait  
    The Madresfield Court Portrait     The Melton Constable Hall Portrait  
    The Norris Portrait     The Northwick Park Portrait  
    The Portland Portrait     The Rotherwas Portrait  
    The Somerley Portrait     The Streatham Portrait  
    The Syon House Portrait     The van de Passe Engraved Portrait  
    The Wrest Park Portrait     The Yale Miniature  
    Other Portraits Called
‘Lady Jane Grey’


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