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English: Portrait of Thomas Cromwell
Date between 1532 and 1533
Medium oil on oak panel
Dimensions 78.4 × 64.5 cm (30.9 × 25.4 in)
Living Hall (139)
Accession number 1915.1.76
English: Three early versions of this painting survive: this one, in the Frick Collection, New York; one in the National Portrait Gallery, London (see 'other versions' below); and one at Burton Constable, Yorkshire, England. Art scholar Roy Strong believed that all three were copies and, while the condition of all three is poor, that the Frick version is in the best condition. Art scholar John Rowlands, however, has since deduced from pentimenti (signs of alteration) revealed by X-ray photographs that the Frick version shows the hand of Holbein himself and is the original. He is followed in this attribution by art scholar Stephanie Buck. All three versions had scrolls painted above Cromwell's head, but the scroll on the Frick version, which was painted after Cromwell's execution, was removed during restoration. The painting has been over-restored, resulting in the removal of much of the surface subtlety characteristic of Holbein. (John Rowlands, Holbein, Boston: David R. Godine, 1985, pp. 137–38. ISBN 0879235780. See also Stephanie Buck, Hans Holbein, pp. 112–13.)
Source/Photographer The Frick Collection
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