Provenance:King Charles I (1600 - 1649), by June 1640, his stamp on the reverse.;
(Very probably) Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington (1618 - 1685), and by;
descent through his daughter;
Isabella, Duchess of Grafton (c. 1668 - 1723), by whom held in trust for her son;
Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton (1683 - 1757), and by inheritance at;
Euston Hall, Suffolk to the present owner.
G. Vertue, ‘Vertue Note Book: Volume I’, The Volume of the Walpole Society, XVIII, 1929-30, p. 70;
G. Vertue, ‘Vertue Note Book: Volume III’, The Volume of the Walpole Society, XXII, 1933-34, p. 112;
G. Vertue ‘Vertue Note Book: Volume IV’, The Volume of the Walpole Society, XXIV, 1935-36, pp. 114-115;
J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch;
Flemish and French Painters, London, 1831, III, p. 170, under no. 588;
L. Cust, Anthony Van Dyck: An historical study of his life and works, London, 1900, p. 284;
E. Larsen, The paintings of Anthony van Dyck, Freren, 1988, p. 508, no. A290;
O. Millar, in S.J. Barneset. al., Van Dyck: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, New Haven and London, 2004, p. 599, no. IV.217;
J. Peill, The English Country House, London, 2013, pp. 105 and 116, illustrated;
M. Hallett, Reynolds: Portraiture in Action, New Haven and London, 2014, p.186.
London, British Institution, Pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, and French masters, May 1836, no. 88;
London, British Institution, The Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, together with a selection of pictures by ancient and deceased British masters, June 1843, no.120;
London, The Grosvenor Gallery, Exhibition of the Works of Sir Anthony van Dyck, 1886-1887, no. 46;
Norwich, Norwich Castle Museum, Family and Friends: a Regional Survey of British Portraiture, September 1992, no. 22.
Further information:• The picture was owned by Charles I, who was the greatest collector of pictures of his age in Europe and formed the most remarkable collection of masterpieces that has ever been assembled in England. Charles I's rule ended in the English Revolution (the period of English civil war and the Commonwealth 1640-1660).
• It captures the likeness of one of the most powerful statesmen at the very heart of King Charles I's court - Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford whose leadership of a calamitous campaign against the rebelling Scots in 1639, contributed to the eventual eruption of Civil War in England.
• Sir Anthony van Dyck is celebrated as one of the greatest artist of the Northern Baroque, along with Sir Peter Paul Rubens. Van Dyck both revolutionised portraiture in Europe and left a legacy for future generations of artists from Gainsborough and Lawrence, to Sargent and Freud.
• This commanding portrait was executed in England, towards the end of van Dyck's illustrious career, and represents the culmination of all that van Dyck had learnt from Rubens, and from his Venetian predecessors, notably Titian.