Sir John Eliot

Breaking my rules again here, but there are few images of anyone just wearing a shirt from the seventeenth century. Sir John Eliot was a prominant politician who found himself imprisoned in the early 1630s due to the Tonnage and Poundage arguments with King Charles. This portrait was painted by an unknown artist whilst Sir John was imprisoned and rather ill in the Tower of London in 1632. He is shown just in his shirt, which is made to the same basic pattern that shirts were made from the beginning of the seventeenth century right up until the 1800s. It is however a rather nice example with a lace edged neckband and strips of bobbin lace inserted into the shirt along parallel diagonal lines all over the garment. Notice also that the shirt reaches well past his knees. The painting hangs in the Plymouth Art Gallery

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3 Comments to “Sir John Eliot”

  1. HOW INTERESTING THAT i WAS JUST READING SOMETHING ABOUT THIS MAN LAST NIGHT, AND HERE HE IS THIS EVENING, STARING OUT AT ME.

  2. Did I get it right that he was painted just in his shirt because he was ill?

  3. I can’t find any commentary on why the portrait was painted, but I suspect the reason he was shown just in his shirt was because he was ill. It may have been a political picture, he was at odds with the King. That was the reason for him being locked away.

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