Understanding British Portraits | Hardwick Hall study day | Dr Charlotte Bolland


I shall begin by introducing my partner who’s
not here today, Dr. Edward Town, who is currently working as a postdoctoral Research Fellow
on the ‘Reformation to Restoration’ project at the Yale Center for British Art in New
Haven. Ed worked at the gallery on the Making Art in Tudor Britain project, and he published
a biographical dictionary of London painters in the Walpole Society in 2014.
So, Rowland Lockey, the mysterious Rowland Lockey, was a goldsmith and picture maker.
He was born in the parish of St Bride, Fleet Street, in around 1566, the son of the armourer,
Leonard Lockey, he was apprentice to Nicholas Hilliard for eight years, starting on 29 September
1581, and was made free before 1592. He was commended for ‘oil and limning, in some
measure’, by Richard Haydock in the preface to his translation of Lomazzo in 1598. And
he was included in a list of artists who were proficient in the use of dry colours in Edward
Norgate’s Miniatura. But the National Portrait Gallery’s portrait
of Thomas More’s family and descendants, a late-16th century copy, an update of Holbein’s
famous portrait, was commissioned by Thomas More the Younger. And the attribution derives
from the fact that the painting was seen in Lockey’s studio by the antiquary, William
Burton, who said and I quote, ‘Rowland Lockey, one whom I knew very well when he lived in
Fleet Street, who was both skilful in limning and in oil-works and perspectives; at whose
house I once saw a neat piece in oil, containing in one table the picture of Sir John More,
a judge of the King’s Bench in the time of Henry VIII, and of his wife; and of Sir Thomas
More, Lord Chancellor, his son and wife; and of all the lineal heirs male descended from
them; together with each man’s wife, until that present year living.’
So, this portrait provides a fascinating means to discuss the copies after Holbein’s portrait
that were being produced in the late-16th century, in the context of contemporary portraiture.
We analysed a number of copies after Holbein as part of the Making Art in Tudor Britain
project, and found that they were the product of different studios. We haven’t examined
the More family portrait in detail, but in the future, it’d be interesting to consider
in relationship to these other portraits after Holbein, and then in relation to other works
by Lockey, as and when attributions may appear. But to have, ostensibly, the work of both
styles within one painting provides incredibly useful reference point, particularly considering
Lockey’s work as a copyist. The portrait also provides a fascinating glimpse,
you may have missed her, in the upper right corner, of another area of Lockey’s portraiture;
the production of copies after portraits by lesser-known artists. So, Anne Cresacre—just
to go back so there she is on the wall behind—is depicted both in the copy of the original
Holbein and in this portrait on the wall, so we have, kind of, three styles of portraits
occurring within this one image. Other works that have been associated with Lockey are
the two portraits inscribed ‘Rolandus Lockey’, the version of the More family portrait at
Nostell Priory, and the portrait of Margaret Beaufort at St John’s College, Cambridge.
The inscription in the Nostell Priory painting is a later addition, and the stylistic similarity
in relationship to the Gallery version has been questioned and discussed by David [Taylor]
and by Jane Eade in an article in Apollo. I can wave it around if anybody is interested.
But it’s interesting that the name uses the Latinised form in both the Lockey and
the… Margaret Beaufort and the Nostell Priory portraits—this is, kind of, the common thread
to the inscription that’s interesting. And it’s also the miniature of the More family
portrait in the V&A, which was first linked to Lockey by Roy Strong, on the grounds that
he was renowned as a limner. So, you have this large scale version, the small scale
version, he is the one person who may have been capable of doing both.
But that said, given Lockey’s reputation at the time, it seems remarkable that there
aren’t more paintings attributed to him. As I said, he was trained by Hilliard, and
the documentary evidence suggests that he was successfully working as an artist at a
time when court portraiture was dominated by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger and John
de Critz the Elder—and he seems to be, kind of, holding his own very well. Another kind
of glimpse of Lockey can perhaps be seen in the work of the artists he trained in the
years after he became free in 1592, and these included Richard Greenbury, his brother, Nicholas
Lockey, to whom he left all his Italian prints in his will, John Langton and Ralph Blackmore.
And Ed’s written more about these individuals in the biographical dictionary.
But I just want to bring up these paintings again to think of the, kind of, lineage that
Lockey was connected into. In the payments… It’s in the payments in relation to Hardwick
Hall and the Talbot and Cavendish families that Lockey leaves, perhaps, his more significant
traces in the archival record. And it therefore seems most likely that it’s in this picture
collection, as was now disseminated into, sort of, various places, that further examples
of Lockey’s work are to be found. On 24 July 1592, two payments totalling £3
were made by Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, to Hilliard for ‘drawing of one picture’,
while the following payment in her accounts of 40 shillings was made to Rowland for the
drawing of one other. And these are, kind of, small sums of money that don’t suggest,
kind of, large scale works. In August 1609, Bess’s son, William Cavendish, paid £3,
6 shillings, 8 pence for ‘making the pictures’; 40 shillings for ‘12 ells of canvas, for
pictures’, at 3 shillings 4 pence the ell; and £10 in part payment of a bill for drawing
15 pictures. In October, Lockey was paid £15 in full for
drawing 16 pictures, that had been paid to him in London, and another payment in the
country. And in September, there were payments to porters that bought pictures from Mr. Lockey.
And Lockey himself was paid £8 for ‘Mr. Cavendish’s picture’, ‘My Lady’s Grace’
and ‘My Lordship’s First Wife’, for ‘canvas and gilding all the frames of the
pictures’ made at Hardwick according to his bill.
And also, to, kind of, contextualise the types of works that we’re looking for. We have
not only the, kind of, More family portrait for reference, but also the fact that the
Talbots were discerning patrons. And a letter from John Talbot of Grafton to his cousin,
George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, in… On 7 July 1597, provides one of the few, sort
of, descriptive references of the appreciation of a portrait that had been presented as a
gift from this period. And he wrote, ‘I most humbly thank you for the picture that
you have sent unto to me, amongst many other infinite favours. Surely, he had been much
beholden to the painting… to the painter for gracing him with long tuffs in his neck
and curling of his hair. Before of the best art-like fashion, he lack of nothing but a
great pair of ruffs.’ So, to some of the Hardwick paintings that
have been associated with Lockey at various points, but none of which are straightforward.
And so, David has been talking about Mary, Queen of Scots, and Catharine can talk about
James. But just to… He’s been known to be associated with Hardwick, but it’s difficult
to pin down exactly which things he was doing. So, for Mary, Queen of Scots, Lockey was evidently
involved in the production of portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots. And this is entirely
appropriate. Because, as David showed, the portrait type, the likeness of the queen is
associated with a miniature by Nicholas Hilliard. And so it’s very plausible that Lockey,
his pupil, would’ve had access to her likeness to be able to create portraits of the queen
that were, kind of, particularly in demand after James’s accession.
And there are payments in January 1610 to ‘Mr. Lockey’s man’ for ‘going with
the Queen of Scots’ picture to My Lord Arundel’s’, and two porters to carry it. Then, on the
21 June 1613, 2 shillings was paid to Lockey’s men, who brought ‘the Scot’s queen’s
picture’, and £9 was given for the picture itself. But this portrait is difficult to
track down, because it was presented to the Lord Privy Seal, Henry Howard, 1st Earl of
Northampton, who, in his entry, had at least four portraits of Mary, so it, kind of, went
into this collection of portraits of Mary. Similarly, another area that’s, kind of,
a little more difficult to unpick, the portraits that Catharine’s going to talk about more,
but these have been both associated with Lockey at, kind of, various points in a, sort of,
like, oh, they’re largely on canvas and should be Lockey, but it all gets a bit more
complicated. So, Ed and I decided instead to consider the works that were listed in
the payments to Lockey, looking for images of Sir William Cavendish in the Heinz Archive.
So, this portrait at Welbeck shows the sitter in dress of 1609, so it’s the date at which
the portraits were commissioned from Lockey, you had the very handy, kind of, cross reference,
in terms of dress to the portraits of James I by John de Critz.
And it doesn’t… This is obviously working from black and white photograph. I have not
seen the painting, so, you know, at that layer of interpretation. It is… They’re not,
kind of, completely, yes, completely disparate items. They are, plausibly, things that could
sit in the same world. So, this is the detailed portrait from the family of Thomas More the
Younger. And Ed very kindly put together this very complicated family tree of the, yes,
Cavendish childhood links, but it does end up, as you can see at the bottom, Duke of
Portland at Welbeck. So there’s very plausible reasons why a portrait of Cavendish could
end up at Welbeck at a later point. But, you know, very much more to be done, considering
that portrait. There’s also a payment in December 1612
for a portrait of Sir William Maynard, who married William Cavendish’s daughter, Frances.
In the Heinz Archive, we have only one image of William Maynard. But again, very interestingly,
it is of a portrait of exactly the right date, sort of, 1612. Nice comparative there with
the Richard Sackville, 3rd Earl of Dorset, in terms of, kind of, ruff-shape. So it’s
a, plausibly, portrait of the right date, presuming that it is the right sitter, sold
at Sotheby’s in ‘74. And again, not… You know, working from a black and white photo,
a very damaged painting. But nonetheless, you could see how it would be worth investing
further, to see if there is a relationship to the portraits. This time, with the young
Cresacre More in the More family portrait. In relation to the 1609 portrait of ‘My
Lordship’s First Wife’, it’s perhaps interesting to consider the portrait that
was identified as possibly Anne Keighley. And even though this identifies… Identification
of the sitter as Anne Keighley, is in relation to a portrait that’s in the 1601 inventory,
so the two bits of information can’t match up. But it’s intriguing that she married
Cavendish in March 1581, and had clearly died by 1609, because the payment to Lockey is
for the portrait of your first wife, and the current lady’s grace.
So, Lockey’s portrait that he produced in 1609 would’ve had to be a copy of a portrait
that was likely produced between 1581 and 1609. And this portrait is of, kind of, particular
interest—Ed and I, kind of, flagged it up—because it is on canvas, unlike the other works from
the collection from the 1590s, such as the Mary Cavendish. So this is of, kind of, the
bits of information that you can link together. So, while the research undertaken as part
of Making Art in Tudor Britain has shown the default assumption that paintings on canvas
date from the 17th century is not, kind of, correct, the fact that there are payments
made for… to Lockey for canvas, for painting, means a crucial factor to take into consideration
when assessing which works by him may survive within the collection.
So, as a, kind of, 1590s portrait of a woman that’s on canvas, I think, interesting to
consider. It also brings into consideration this portrait of an unknown man, which is
very compositionally similar to works by Robert Peake the Elder, shows a sitter from the 1590s.
So, is this another copy commissioned by Cavendish? And the thing with Lockey to, kind of, have
to unpick is, how do you discern an artist hand when you’re working from copies? You
know, kind of, what are you assessing? But the payment for nine ells of canvas means
it’d be fascinating to use this group of portraits as a case study for the comparative
analysis of canvas weave from X-rays, which has proved successful at linking canvas supports
from paintings to similar bolts of cloth. So, using the X-rays to then have, kind of,
yes, the data analysis to see if there are any canvas links across the group.
And finally, I just wanted to conclude. With… If you’re using the More… The other portraits
in the More family as a, kind of, point of reference as to what Lockey’s wider oeuvre
may have been, it opens up the idea of assessing portraits in other collections. Ed has been
looking closely at the work the group, identified by Strong as ‘unknown follower of Gheeraerts’
in The English Icon, and bringing, kind of, other paintings into consideration. And among
these is this portrait of an unknown man from the collection in Bolton, which again, does
seem to sit in a plausible way with the Thomas More the Younger from the large scale family
portrait. And this…So, yes, so the research for this
is very much in the, kind of, early stages of opening up consideration. The group is
quite large. And one of the things that it, kind of, shares, that… Is this slightly
uncomfortable disjunction between the, sort of, skill in the execution of the faces, and
the slightly uncomfortable proportions of the figures and placement of the figures.
And as a, kind of, final question to you all, is whether this could be an interesting, kind
of, legacy of the training that Lockey would’ve received from Nicholas Hilliard as a miniature
painter? 4

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