Archive for November 19th, 2012

November 19, 2012

Sir Dudley Digges

Painted again by Cornelius Johnson sometime before he died in 1639, Sir Dudley was a well travelled diplomat, courtier and member of Parliament. He was also heavily involved in overseas trade and was a “Virginia Adventurer”, investing money in the Virginia Company of London. What I like about this portrait is the detail of his shirt, which has a falling band seemingly directly attached directly to the body of the shirt and the bobbin lace runs all around the collar and extends down the neck opening. This kind of decoration would not be seen when worn under a doublet, but was presumably designed for when the shirt was worn as shown, indoors under a loose coat or fur wrap as seen here. Definitely a high status shirt!

November 19, 2012

Colonel Sir John Booth

Painted by Edward Bower. I can’t find anything about the good Colonel, apart from the fact that he came from Dunham Massey where this splendid picture hangs. Presumably he was a Parliamentarian as Bower generally painted like minded subjects. Let me know please if you know any more. He is arrayed in military splendour, but looks more like he’s just taken a break from a hunt in the woods. If you compare him with the picture of Denzil Holles you’ll see what I mean. Lovely candy stripes of braid or embroidery on his doublet and breeches, a fine pair of soft boots with spurs, buff coat with back and breast armour, fur lined glove on one hand and an armoured gauntlet on the left to protect the hand that holds the reins.The ensemble is finished with a black taffeta scarf (sash) tied at the rear, red ribbon bows on his breeches and a pair of outrageous tassels on the cord holding his tiny powder flask at the hip. Hopefully his firelock isn’t loaded. He may get a nasty shock if it goes off half-cock!

Update, from the NT website: The sitter was the fifth son of Sir George Booth (1566-1652) and Catherine Anderson, the daughter of Sir Edmund Anderson, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. He married twice: firstly to Dorothy St John, daughter of Sir Anthony St John, the younger son of Oliver, Earl of Bolingbroke; and secondly, in 1659, to Anne, widow of Thomas Legh of Adlington. In 1651 he was accused of conspiring with the Scots to restore Charles II and imprisoned in the Tower of London. He is buried in Chester Cathedral.

November 19, 2012

Sir William Brockman

Painted in 1642 by Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen, better known in this country as Cornelius Johnson. Sir William was a prominent Kent royalist who was arrested and imprisoned in London virtually at the start of the war and only released in 1645. He played a part in the second civil war of 1648 when he led a staunch resistance of Maidstone against Thomas Fairfax. This portrait shows him in somber tones in a smart black doublet and a neat falling band of fine linen and understated band strings. This picture hangs in the Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery.