Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Thomas Cromwell Portrayed: Not

Patrick Collinson, Short Oxford History of The British Isles: The Sixteenth Century (Oxford, 2002), xiv, gives a good reading of a portrait of Thomas Cromwell (see left). Unfortunately, I find the identical portrait accompanying the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article of George Neville, third Baron Bergavenny (c.1469-1535). Which is correct?  Inquiring minds want to know? Is the Oxford History or the Oxford DNB correct?

Dr. Philip Carter, Publication Editor, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, was kind enough to respond to my query:
  •  "it appears that the image we use is correctly identified as Holbein's pencil sketch of Neville, despite the addition of 'Lord Cromwell' in the bottom left of the image.  Roy Strong, Artists of the Tudor Court (183), p. 21 identifies the portrait as Neville and notes that the reference to 'Lord Cromwell' and 'Holbein' was added later; J.Rowlands Holbein: Portraits of Hans Holbein the Younger, complete edition (1985) also identifies the portrait as of Neville."

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