Detail of portrait of Thomas Cromwell
Portrait of Henrician minister Thomas Cromwell by unknown artist. English School, possibly late 1530s. Oil on panel; 20 x 14in. Sold to private buyer at Christies on 6 July 2007 for £120,000.
Found little information on portrait. In the nineteenth-century it belonged to Alfred Morrison of Fonthill House, Tisbury, Wiltshire (unclear where he obtained the portrait from). Christies’ website states:
‘The present portrait is also adapted from the Holbein type, and while Cromwell is not shown wearing the collar of the Garter, his coat of arms (upper left) are encircled by the riband of the Order (bearing the moto 'Honi soit qui mal y pense'), indicating that it was executed in or after 1537. Variants of the present portrait are at Petworth, and also formerly in the collection of Lord Cunliffe (sold at Sotheby's, London, 23 January 1946, lot 152) (see R. Strong, National Portrait Gallery: Tudor & Jacobean Portraits, London, 1969, p. 114, '16th century workshop reproductions of varying size').’