Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Bust of Lady Venetia Digby - Gothurst

A Bronze Bust of Lady Venetia Digby (1600 - 33).
formerly Venetia Stanley
at Gothurst, Near Newport Pagnell, Bedfordshire.

Married Sir Kenelm Digby in 1625.

Continuing with the theme of engravings and paintings of sculpture.

The sculptured bust of Lady Venetia Digby at Gothurst; set on a decorative pedestal with garlands of  fruit and a plaque; illustration to Pennant's "Tour from Chester to London" (1786).  Etching

James Basire (1730 - 1802).
228 x 153 mm.

Illustration from Pennant's Tour from Chester to London. 1786.
British Museum.

Two bronze busts in the hall at Gothurst (Gayhurst) noted in Magna Brittania by Lysons. pub.1713. p. 564.

Berrington Hall © National Trust / Catriona Hughes

Tomb of Lady Venetia Digby
Christchurch within Newgate, London destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.

from a sketch by Aubrey

Basire c. 1786.

National Trust, Berrington Hall.


Lady Venetia Digby (possibly)
more likely Lady Francis Cranfield

Despite the doubt I include it because it is such a beautiful portrait.
Lewis Walpole Library


Sir Kenelm and Lady Venetia Digby
Isaac Oliver. (1589 - 1657)
After Anthony van Dyck
Watercolour on Vellum
Height 8.8 cms
Image Courtesey Lewis Walpole Library.

see -


Lady Venetia Digby
Anthony van Dyck
National Portrait Gallery

Lady Venetia Digby
Anthony van Dyck
Northampton Museum and Art Gallery

Lady Venetia Stanley on her deathbed
Anthony van Dyck
Dulwich Picture Gallery.


For the lives of  the Digbys see -


Sir Thomas Bodley, William Laud, Sir Kenelm Digby, William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, John Selden, by Michael Burghers, 1674 - NPG D25544 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Thomas Bodley
with vignettes of William Laud, William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, John Selden and Sir Kenelm Digby.
Michael Burghers
315 x 196 mm.
National Portrait Gallery

By coincidence Sir Kenelm Digby is shown in this engraving

see my previous blog entry regarding the portraits of Sir Thomas Bodley.


Just for fun here are some further images of Sir Kenelm Digby

Sir Kenelm Digby
c. 1640
Oil on Canvas
117 x 91.7 cms
National Portrait Gallery


Image result for Sir Kenelm Digby van Dyck

Sir Kenelm Digby
National Maritime Museum.


Sir Kenelm Digby
Circle of Anthony van Dyck
c. 1650.
127 x 101 cms
oil on canvas

image courtesy Philip Mould.
see -,-Circle-of

The broken orrery perhaps indicating the tragic loss of his beloved wife.

Sir Kenelm Digby, by Robert van Voerst, after  Sir Anthony van Dyck, circa 1636 - NPG D16555 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Kenelm Digby
Robert van Voerst
after van Dyck
251 x 189 mm
National Portrait Gallery

Sir Kenelm Digby, by Richard Gaywood, after  Sir Anthony van Dyck, 1654 - NPG D16450 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Kenelm Digby
Richard Gaywood
after van Dyck
107 x 83 mm
National Portrait Gallery


Sir Kenelm Digby, by Jacobus Houbraken, published by  John & Paul Knapton, after  Sir Anthony van Dyck, published 1748 (1747) - NPG D27875 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Kenelm Digby
after van Dyck
Jacobus Houbraken
342 x 238 mm.
National Portrait Gallery.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Bust of Sir Thomas Bodley - Some Sculptors of the late 16th and Early 17th Centuries.

The Stone Bust of Sir Thomas Bodley - 
in the Bodlein Library
Put up in 1605.

Some Sculptors of the late 16th and Early 17th Centuries.

A short list culled from The Biographical Dictionary of London Tomb Sculptors 1560 - 1660.
Adam White, Walpole Society Journal, 1999. I have used this list to flesh out the histories of these sculptors on this blog.

This list is not exhaustive but the number of candidates for the possible sculptor of the Bodley Bust working in London at the beginning of the 17th century is surprisingly small.
Presented here in alphabetical order -

Bartholomew Atye (fl 1600 - 1618).

John Colt fl. 1685 - d.1637.
Maximillian Colt (Coult). fl. 1602 - 27/8. 
 The Colt Family Workshop.

Cornelius Cure (d. 1608/9).
William Cure (d.1632).
The Cure family workshop.

Epiphanius Evesham (c. 1570 - c 1620's) not relevant to the Bodley Bust research because he worked in Paris from 1600 - 1615.

Isaac James ( fl. 1600 - 1624/5). Possible sculptor of the Bodley Bust.

Garret Johnson The Elder fl.1591 - 1611.
Garrat Johnson the Younger
Nicholas Johnson f. 1594 - 1624. (son of Garret Johnson The Elder).
The Johnson Family Workshop

Gillis (Jellis or Giles) fl. 1576 - 1614.

Nicholas Stone the elder (1586/7 1646)

I should point out here that I am out of my comfort zone with the subject of 16th / 17th century sculpture and am learning as I go along. If this seems like an amateurish attempt I hope that my readers will forgive me.

I am posting some images of the works of the above sculptors as much to introduce myself to the subject as for any other reason. The naturalism of the Bodley bust suggests to that it is the work of an experienced sculptor of some maturity, .

All images are culled from the internet. If I fail to credit the images properly please contact me and I will correct this.


John Colt fl. 1685 - d.1637, Maximillian Colt (Coult). fl. 1602 - 27/8. and the Colt workshop.

John Colt - originally from Arras Flanders now Northern France.
Probably a protestant refugee - arrived in England in 1685 - workshop in the London City parish of St Martin le Grand. In 1608 was in  the ward of Farringdon without.

The name Colt derives from the family name - Poutrain a literal translation of from the French for colt.

Elizabeth I
Maximillian Colt 
Westminster Abbey.


Monument to Robert Cecil (d. 1612).
supported by the four Cardinal Virtues.
Maximillian Colt
put up 1615.
St Etheldredas Church
Hatfield, Herts.

This photograph from -

These black and white images from

Related image


Monument to the two Daughters of James I
Princess Sophia d. 1606 and Princes Mary d. 1607.

Photographs above: top Getty, bottom Alamy


Cornelius Cure.

Monument to Sir William Pickering d. 1574
St Helens Bishopsgate, London

Attributed to Cornelius Cure.
Photographs from the website of Bob Speel see -


Garrat (Geerhart) Johnson, and the Johnson workshop.

Works include - Shakespear Monument Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon.

Wriothesley Monument
St Peters Church, Titchfield, Hampshire


Monument to Sit Anthony Brown. Midhurst. Hampshire.

Photographs -

The  Johnson Workshop

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Monument of Richard Kingsmill at Highclere by James and Adye 1601/2

Monument of Sir Richard Kingsmill 
at Highclere, Hampshire 
by Isaac James and Bartholomew Adye.
Put up in 1601 - 2.

Painted stone monument. This and the previous posing show the only two monuments put up by Adye and James during their short partnership.

Illustrated here for comparison with the stone bust of Sir Thomas Bodley in the Bodleian Library.

The Plaster cast of the Stone bust of Sir Thomas Bodley - currently in store at the Weston Library and unavailable for inspection. Mrs Poole states that it was once painted green.

I hope to get access at some time in order to make comparison with the original. Whilst there appears to be no clear evidence - the bust has an 18th Century style socle and is perhaps by John Cheere who made the series of plaster busts in the Codrington Library at All Souls College, Oxford.

Isaac James and Bartholemew Atye -The Denny Monument, Waltham Abbey

 The Denny Monument, Waltham Abbey Church, Essex. 
by Isaac James and Bartholomew Atye
contracted and completed between 1600 - 1.

Sir Edward Denny (1547 - 1601).
For biographies of  James and Atye see - Dictionary of London Tomb Makers .....
Adam White. Walpole Soc Journal, 1999.

see also Transactions of the Essex Arcgheological Society XVI - 1923 p. 57 9 which includes a transcription of the contract document.

Related image

Old photograph of the Denny monument before its refreshing- sourse unknown.


For a short biography of Sir Edward Denny see -

Waltham Abbey Church, Essex.

Isaac James and the Norris Monument in Westminster Abbey.

 The Monument to Henry, Ist Baron Norris of Rycote (1525 -1601).
by Isaac James (d. c1625).
in St Andrew's Chapel Westminster Abbey.

Library photograph from Alamy website. 

Photography is not allowed inside Westminster Abbey for any purpose.
One can understand their need to monetise their holdings but the refusal to allow photography is particularly mean spirited. On my last visit I was charged £18 entry fee. My entreaties to photograph the Newton and Shakespeare monuments were to no avail although they did get me into the library.

Henry, Lord Norris

In the chapel of St Andrew, off the north transept of Westminster Abbey, is a very large monument, about 24 feet high, to the memory of Henry (Norris or Norreys) 1st Baron Norris of Rycote (?1525-1601) and his wife Margaret, daughter of John (Williams), 1st Baron Williams of Thame. His mother was Mary (Fiennes) and his father Henry was executed by Henry VIII in 1536 for allegedly being a lover of Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth I showed Henry and Margaret particular favour, appointing him ambassador to France and creating him Baron Norris in 1572.

The monument, by sculptor Isaac James, has no inscription and Henry and Margaret are both buried at Rycote chapel in Oxfordshire, in the grounds of their house.

Either side of their recumbent effigies kneel their six sons in armour. Only their third son Sir Edward Norris, Governor of Ostend, survived his father, dying in 1603. He is shown kneeling and looking upwards whereas the other sons have bowed heads and praying hands to indicate they were deceased: William (d.1579), Marshal of Berwick, Sir John (?1547-1597), a celebrated military commander, Henry (1554-99), Maximilian (d.1593) and Sir Thomas (1556-99) who were all soldiers. The carved shield on the top section of the monument includes the coat of arms of Norris of Rycote, supported by two monkeys. The square pedestal depicts military scenes and is surmounted by a small statue of Fame.

This description and the unbelievably poor lo resolution photograph lifted from the Westminster Abbey website

see -,-lord-norris


An early 19th Century aquatint of the Norris Monument by Isaac James

Another Aquatint of the Norris Monument


Sunday, 24 September 2017

Nicholas Stone and the Monument of Sir Thomas Bodley.

The Monument to Sir Thomas Bodley.
Fellow of Merton College.
Founder of the Bodleian Library 
formerly Oxford University Library
Merton College Chapel
with some notes on the portraits of Sir Thomas Bodley.

by Nicholas Stone (1586 - 1647).
Erected May 1615.

see - The Notebook and Account Book of Nicholas Stone -Walter Lewis Spiers
Walpole Society Journal, VII - 1918/19

see also - Jean Wilson, in Church Monuments VIII, 1993. p. 57 - 62.

some random notes -

An original preparatory drawing for the Monument to Sir Thomas Bodley
Nicholas Stone.

MS. Ashmole 1137 fol.143r, Bodleian Library.
Photograph Dana Josephson.

Sir Thomas Bodley died 28 January 1613.
Buried in Merton College Chapel with much ceremony 29 March 1613.

The naked figure below represents Grammar holding the Golden Key to higher learning
The four seated figures surrounding the bust represent Music, Arithmetic, Grammar and Rhetoric.
The figure on the left holds an open book promising the Bodley's name will not be erased from the book of  Life - NON DELEBO NOMEN EIUS DE LIBRO VITAE.

This photograph from


For Merton College history and architecture see -

Polychrome Plaster replica of the bust - perhaps mid 18th century, of Sir Thomas Bodley in the Bodleian Library put up in 1605. Mrs Poole says once painted green ( possibly to represent bronze).

This bust is currently in store at the Weston Library, Oxford.

It is my opinion that this bust could not have been carved by Nicholas Stone.
Stone would have been aged about 19. A comparison with the bust on the monument which to my eye is fairly wooden would suggest a more competant and perhaps mature sculptor.

Image result for Bodleian Library, Bust Thomas Bodley

Sir Thomas Bodley
Painted Panel
Ceiling of the East Range
Bodleian Library

Sir Thomas Bodley.
Anonymous artist
late 16th century.
ref Poole 71.
Bodleian Library


Frontispiece to 'Catalogue of the Bodleian library' (1674), with portrait of Thomas Bodley in centre, and at the four corners portraits of the Earl of Pembroke, William Laud, Kenelm Digby, and John Selden.  Engraving

Sir Thomas Bodley
along with William Pembroke, Archbishop Laud, Kenelm Digby and John Selden.

Frontispiece to the Catalogue of the Bodleian Library, 1674.
Michael Burghers
after Cornelius Johnson
314 x 200 mm
British Museum.


Claude Warrin (Warren).
42 mm diam.
Bodleian Library accounts contain an entry ' Item to ye painter that drew Sir Thomas Bodleys picture and to Mr Wrren that made his medale, to each of them 2 s'.

Lot 154, 11 Sepember 2014. Wooley and Wallace, Salisbury.

Photograph from the website of Wooley and Wallace, auctioneers of Salisbury, Wiltshire.