Topic: Subject or sitter

I believe this portrait is likely to be the merchant Christopher Herbert (1532/1533 (?)–25 June 1590), who was Lord Mayor of York 1573 and Governor of the Merchants' Company 1572–1574. The first quartering in the coat of arms is that of the Herbert family (per pale azure and gules, three lions rampart argent). The family motto 'pawb yn y arver' (and the genealogy) is recorded in Dugdale's Visitation of Yorke 1665, which illustrates the later version of the family arms that was granted to Christopher's son Thomas in 1614.

If Christopher Herbert was born in 1532/1533 then he would have been 47 around 1579. The clothing in this portrait is consistent with a sober merchant of that date.

See 'The Register of the Guild of Corpus Christi' in the City of York (second footnote) and Dugdale's Visitation of Yorke

Collection note: 'The only note I can add is that the work was given by our gallery's founder, Walter Beecroft, in the 1950s, having been part of his own collection. It was, at the time, attributed to Antonio Moro.'

Paula Marmor, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

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Justin Grant-Duff,

So if the info was known in 1950's what is the unresolved question now? Surely if it was known then in a Beecroft collection, there is no issue? I often wonder what people mean when they say the work was "discovered", as if it was never known by the aristos and so on who owned and commissioned it. Bizarre use of language. There are public servants who sequestrate private houses for death taxes, and then say they "discovered" a room in the house. How? Are they suggesting that we are extinct lost tribes of Indians, and workers have discovered this place called England? This is not the New World. The date of civilisation did not begin with New Labour circa 2000. These works HAVE ALWAYS been known about. The failure is in poor transmission of information. Do not mistake quality for quantity. The ignorance of the many cannot improve the arrogance of a few. What I fear are the Stalinist lies that attempt to hide the truth by reinventing it. Attempts to re-write English history of art are dangerous to integrity and honesty. many of these so-called "discoveries" have been looted from churches by thieves who try to "pass off" as their own property by having a vested interest in deception and fraud. Antiquity used to be guaranteed by Provenance. But that was destroyed when social changelings named it "brown" furniture. Provenance is the inherited story of an item of art and antique. Stalinist revolutionaries destroy that for cash by 'cleaning', shattering, and scoring, putting their own mark on the item for posterity. This is a form of bastard cannabalisation of antiquity that is as damaging as the ISIL's sledgehammer smash-up of ancient cities in Iraq and Syria. Places that professionals have tried to rescue from the sand, but whose work is now rendered pointless. English history has always been written, and if the records were left unmolested, would still be extant, and still tell the story today, but Marxists look for a new angle on everything, even to the extent of going to the trouble of telling lies by manufacturing the truth.

I don't think the collection was implying they already had Paula Marmor's information but that they could only add to the information on 'Your Paintings' that it had been given by Beecroft "in the 1950s, having been part of his own collection. It was, at the time, attributed to Antonio Moro." The Your Paintings information already includes: "With this picture was a note suggesting that the sitter was ‘Ludger John Ring, German Ratsherr c.1560’, but there is no further supporting evidence. However, the coat of arms in the work may be a clue and we also know from the picture that the age of the sitter was 47 years."

Paula Marmor's identification of the arms and motto seem to be clear evidence of the truye identification of the sitter and the age looks about right (if a bit old for 47?). His Monmouth ancestry explains the Welsh motto. Christopher Herbert's house still survives in York:

Southend Museums Service,

I am very grateful to Paula Marmor for identifying the sitter in this work and will update our records accordingly. I will also suggest an attribution to Ring. This discussion has been brilliant - the identification of an artist (by a previous comment) and a sitter! It is the kind of research that we cannot take the time to do so is very much appreciated.

Tim Williams,

Before you go with the attribution to ring, I think the former attribution to Mor is quite strong. Maybe it doesn't have the quality of say Mor's Gresham portrait (though without a high res image it is difficult to tell), but it could be by one of Mor's circle Willem Key etc.

Annemarie Jordan has done a fair bit of work on Mor:

It would be worth seeking her opinion as well as Joanna Woodall's at the Courtauld.

Southend Museums Service,

Thank you very much. I will look into that before fully updating the record.

Can we just add the sitter's identiity to the website for the moment please, Art Detective?

Michael Liversidge,

Looking at the image (only a photograph, so what follows may be a red herring) I wonder if the coat of arms is integral to the rest of the paint surface or may be a later addition? A lot of 16th-century portraits have later armorials or lettered inscriptions with sitters' names added later than the actual painting. The portrait itself looks like a Flemish hand of the 1570-1600 period, and rather nice quality.

Jade Audrey King,

Thanks for your comments so far, everyone.

Southend Museums Service, the PCF will update our own records when we have reached a resolution, however the live Your Paintings website can only then be updated by the BBC in July 2015 (as refreshing the data on the live website is a process they can only undertake quarterly). Because of this, I recommend this discussion continues for a while in case any more information, or a different artist attribution, comes to light. It would also be good to hear the opinions of the Group Leaders, who are encouraged to make an official 'recommendation' toward the end of a discussion.

Paula Marmor,

If the decision is to update the identification of the sitter, I would encourage you to use the phrasing "likely" or "probably Christopher Herbert" barring further confirmation.

Merchant Adventurers' Hall,

This is very interesting indeed Paula and we may be able to provide a little more information on the possible sitter. The Merchants Company still exist (now known as the Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York) and run the Merchant Adventurers' Hall as a museum. We also have an extensive archive dating back to the 1350's.

The Herbert Family played a very important role in the Company and in York's civic life and the Company still have connections with the Herbert family to this day.

Can we ask where the date of 1579 comes from, is this on the painting? The reason we ask is that there were a number of Herberts prominent in York Civic life during that period. We wonder whether it might in fact be Thomas Herbert, Christopher's son who was Governor in 1598 and Lord Mayor in 1604? To us it looks a little later than 1579?

The Coat of Arms also has the Coat of Arms of York in the right hand quarter.

Paula Marmor,

The BBC Your Paintings site says "we also know from the picture that the age of the sitter was 47 years" (though I don't see that in the reproduction). If Christopher Herbert was born 1532/33, then he would have been 47 around 1579.

Thank you for the info on the arms of the City of York.

The fur-lined gown, flat hat, and modest shirt ruffle in this photo seem earlier rather than later to me.

Paula Marmor,

Here are some portraits for comparison:

1560s and 1570s -

Nicholas Throckmorton, 1564

John Isham (1525-1595) of Lamport Hall, Warden of the Mercers Company, 1565

Sergeant William Lovelace, 1576, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Thomas Pead,registrar of the archdeaconries of Norwich in Norfolk and Sudbury in Suffolk, 1578

By the 1590s I would expect a tall hat, with a flat collar or larger ruff (and possibly a pointed beard) -

Sir Nicholas Wadham, 1595

Sir Thomas Fleming, Judge, 1596

Osmund Bullock,

I agree with Paula that it looks a fair bit earlier than the turn of the century, and that Christopher Herbert is the better call - costume-wise, the John Isham portrait of c1567 is a particularly close analogue. As to the artist, I wondered about Cornelis Ketel, who is thought to have painted quite prolifically in England between 1573 & 1581 (though few of his English portraits have been identified and/or survive).

Presumably there's an inscription somewhere that gives the sitter's age as 47, though it's not immediately apparent. With a bit of image tweaking I can - just - see something upper left that may be it; but even if it is, it's impossible to make out here.

As ever we are left needing a higher-res image, which would also help with the heraldic analysis. The 2nd Quarter could possibly be the arms of the City of York, but I'm not really convinced that the five charges on the cross are lions (passant guardant) - certainly there are a lot of other things they could be. And besides, armorially it would be a very odd (and illegal) thing to do - quartering the arms of a town with your own. It is more likely to be the coat of another family whose heiress married a forebear of the sitter. Re the originality (or otherwise) of the arms, one can say that the shape of escutcheon & its frame/border is consistent with a date in the last quarter of the C16th (or the first of the 17th).

One other thing: Paula, what is your source for Christopher Herbert's birth being c1532/3? I'm not denying it, I just haven't been able to find out. According to your first link (the Guild of Corpus Christi book), Herbert was made free in 1551: that would make him 18 or 19 at the time, which seems very young - his son Thomas did not receive his freedom until he was 24. If Christopher was in fact born five years earlier (c1527/8), the portrait could date from 1574-5 - which fits perfectly with the end of his Mayorality (1573-74) and Governorship of the Merchants' Co (1572-74).

Paula Marmor,

The arms might be in the Visitation of Yorkshire 1584-85 by Robert Glover, Somerset Herald. It's doesn't seem to have been digitized, but it was printed in 1875 - does anyone have access to a copy?

Oliver Perry,

Perhaps it might help to compare the heraldry on the portrait with the shield on the title page of the younger Thomas Herbert's book, published in 1677. It's engraved rather small, and without the colours, but think all four quarters of the shield in the painting can identified within it:
-The Herbert arms with three lions rampant
-A cross with, I think, stars rather than the lions of the shield of York
-A lion rampant on a plain background,
-A chevron between three stars.

Osmund Bullock,

Yes, all four of them are there, Oliver, though as you say the tinctures/metals are not shown. I ringed them in red on the cropped image myself yesterday, but didn't have time to post before you! Here it is, belatedly, anyway. Thomas Herbert's book was actually first published in 1638 - the BM one is a later edition.

Today I've managed to track down more versions - written and painted - of the arms of this Thomas Herbert or his son Alexander, again showing all the quarters of the arms in the portrait, and in more detail. Thomas was created a baronet in 1660, and was the great-grandson of Christopher Herbert, our possible sitter. I will post images tomorrow if I have time.

Tim Williams,

Wherever the 1579 date came from, it places Christopher Herbert in Antwerp and Hamburg that year. He had made many visits to Antwerp from about 1563 and spent considerable time (a decade on and off) in Emden (after Antwerp forbid the importation of English Cloth) and where the Merchants had their own gaff. By all accounts, it was a huge export operation involving the residency of 20 merchants and many hundred skivvies. While the Merchants were based in Emden this chap was their chaplain:

And I'm pretty sure this chap was there too:

And bizarrely this chap who you might remember, was probably there also!

It's almost possible to throw some names at our old friend with the book and skull - through a process of elimination.

See 'The York mercers and merchant adventurers, 1356-1917' (Surtees Society) it references a fair bit of primary source material - letters from Herbert etc.

Clarification needed from the collection please! The details for this painting given on 'Your Painings' include: '… we also know from the picture that the age of the sitter was 47 years.' This suggests there might, for example, be an inscription in the form 'aetatis suae 47' -- but, if so, it's not visible in the website image. I think the date 1579 has possibly resulted from a coupling of this '47' and the date of Christopher Herbert's birth, 1532/33 (?). It would therefore be very helpful for further discussion if the collection could confirm whether or not there is evidence of any kind within the painting indicating the sitter's age.

Southend Museums Service,

I cannot get to the painting itself at the moment because of work with other collections but certainly the age of the sitter is no longer visible on the picture. On the original catalogue card it says 'inscribed with a coat of arms and age of subject, 47' but this was 60 years ago.
The other information came from the back of an old photograph of the work (which I have never seen, so perhaps it was not kept) but the exact transcription is on the catalogue card and says: 'Ludger Tom Ring - German Ratsherr ca 1560' The date of 1579 was conjectured from the supposed age of the sitter if he were to be Christopher Herbert, as thought. It nows seems that perhaps 1560 is more likely from the costume?

Many thanks, Southend. I suppose it's just possible that the age statement recorded on the original catalogue card was a misreading of the motto, perhaps at a time when the painting's appearance was impaired by discoloured varnish and/or surface dirt (and as the catalogue card does not otherwise record the motto). In any case, it would seem that we do not have to take as fixed either the sitter's age as 47 or the date of the painting as 1579.

Paula Marmor,

I would be more comfortable with a date in the later 1560s based on the costume.

Osmund Bullock,

That's quite possible, Richard - though I do still think there may be something inscribed upper left (see attached). Is there an even slightly higher-resolution version of this image available from either the PCF or Southend? I can't believe that 47.1 KB at 72 dpi was its original size.

1 attachment
Paula Marmor,

I'd also like to see a close-up of the seal ring he's wearing.

Paula Marmor,

Thanks for that image. The second quartering on the arms, argent on a cross gules five mullets (stars) or, is the medieval arms of John ap Adam (on the Falkirk roll, Englished as "Johan de Baddenham", and elsewhere), and seems to have come to (or been claimed by) the Herberts via Gwladys ferch Dafydd Gam, mother of William Herbert 1st Earl of Pembroke and Sir Richard Herbert of Colebrook, ancestor of "our" Herberts.

Family history:

Falkirk roll:

I think the heraldry is sufficient to confirm that the arms represent a member of the Herbert family, certainly!

The ring looks like nothing so much as a skull to me, perhaps a memento mori.

Osmund Bullock,

Yes, thank you, Southend. No inscription, alas, but the coat of arms is clear now. Paula, I think this coat is actually most likely associated here with the family of a man called Bleddyn Broadspear, whose daughter and heiress Alis in the C12th married into the family that in the mid-C15th was to become the Herberts of Colebrook - ancestors of the Herberts of York. Not that it matters how, as long as "our" Herberts used it!

Welsh genealogy and heraldry are fiendishly complex because of the very late adoption of inheritable surnames - and are confused even more by the adoption of *different* surnames by closely-related members of the same family bearing the same arms. In earlier years the records are also thick with myth and invention. But in this case, rightly or wrongly, the quarter *was* certainly born by the Herberts of York (see below). The next quarter, the black lion rampant, is of uncertain origin - there are many Welsh families bearing it - but again it is associated with the Herberts of York.

The final quarter, a chevron between three mullets, is interesting. If the background is sable (black) as apparently shown, it is mysterious: there is only one family recorded with the coat, and nothing whatsoever is known of them. But if we conjecture that the paint has darkened over time to black from green - as the blue in the (1st quarter) Herbert coat must have done - then we have the arms of Christopher Herbert's mother, Barbara Pudsey. And they are the only family recorded with those arms.

We have evidence that all these quarters were born by members of the Herbert family of York. We have already seen them - albeit without tinctures shown - amongst those on the engraving of the arms of Sir Thomas Herbert, Bt, Christopher's great-grandson. The parish church of St Crux, York, where many of the family were buried, was demolished in 1887; but some memorials were moved to the parish room built on the site, where they remain. I have found a picture of one of these, a 1668/9 hatchment of Alexander Herbert, son of Sir Thomas (image attached). This has 12 quarterings, including all those in the portrait (though the ?Pudsey one has again probably changed colour from green to blue). Additionally Drake describes some of the church's monuments in his 1736 'Erboracum', among them a Herbert one (either to Sir Thomas d.1681/2 or to his grandfather Thomas the Mayor d. 1614 - it's unclear): it had a shield of nine quarters - two of them (#2 & #7) being nos 2 &3 from the portrait, with another two not described. There was also a monument to Christopher himself, apparently without arms, but the transcription has so many date and name errors it is not genealogically reliable. See (pp 298-300).

This, then (I'm sorry about the length), with the motto gives the clear and pretty unequivocal armorial evidence that Paula is right, and the portrait does indeed show Christopher Herbert of York. It could theoretically be his son, Thomas (1554-1614, and also Mayor), but the general feeling is that it is too early for him. Christopher also had a younger brother, Evan (alias Ryce), but the lack of historical references to him suggest an undistinguished life - and no connection with trade to the Netherlands - and so a much lower likelihood of a decent portrait. I have a bit more to relate about Christopher's probable birth year and life geography, but I will post that separately.

Cliff Thornton,

Using the high resolution image provided by Southend, can anybody else make out the head of a lion (full face) which appears immediately above the top of the crest on the right hand side? It appears to be an outline lying under the present surface of the paint -unless it is my monitor that is playing up. If it is present, then this feature suggests that the present crest may have been painted over an original one?

Osmund Bullock,

Tim, thank you for finding the most interesting book you reference. (It can be read here ).

The detailed story of the Merchant Adventurers’ dealings with the Continent given in the Introduction certainly implies that Christopher Herbert would have been in the Low Counties and Germany for periods in the 1560s & 70s. I can only see two specific references, though, to his overseas residence: he writes from Antwerp in January 1563/4 (as Treasurer of the merchants there), evidently by then rather fed up with his position; then in either 1574 or 75 (he'd been "Governor for two years”) he writes another grumpy letter from Hamburg. But other documents show he was in York in Feb 1573/4, in July and earlier in 1578 (following two official journeys to Hull, and one to London), and in Jan 1579/80 (following another one to London) - so perhaps most of his overseas trips were not extended. An epitaph formerly in St Crux Church (see Drake's 'Eboracum' p 300) to his son, Thomas (b. 1554), suggests that he spent much time in the Low Countries as a young man, presumably with or deputing for his father (as commonly happened with senior apprentices according to the Merchant Adventurers' book), before being admitted a Freeman of York c1578: "York had my birth, from Brittans [sic] comes my race / The Netherlands and France my youth did guide ...".

Cliff, I'm normally very bullish on faint inscriptions and the like (and usually wrong); but in all honesty I can't see anything very significant there, even after tweaking the image every which way. Incidentally, I feel impelled to point out, as a bit of a heraldry nerd, that there is technically no crest there - that is just the (coat of) arms. A crest is the thingy that you often see sitting on a wreath *above* the top of the shield, sometimes shown mounted on a mediaeval helmet.

Oliver Perry,

I think there might be something; there's a slight pale cross there, which, if you stare at it for a while seems to resolve itself into a very small coat of arms the shield quartered or bearing a cross, with supporters.

A couple of observations: The whole top right area of the painting looks as if it's been lightened by scumbling , not terribly evenly, at some stage. Therefore any lightness showing through would indicate slight relief rather than light paint below. Secondly that the shield seems to have been retouched with black and possibly red and white paint, (note the outlines of the Herbert Lions and the black outlining on the shield), which seems wrong), by someone who obviously didn't know the correct colours, which had already have had enough time to darken to black by the time of the restoration.

Osmund Bullock,

A few points about Christopher Herbert’s year of birth, which it now appears must have been earlier than 1532/33.

(1) As you say, Paula, the source that you give - (I’m repeating the link – it doesn’t seem to work from your post) - references Bradney’s Monmouthshire (1913). I’ve found an online version of this in the Utah (Mormon) Family History Library – it takes an age to download, so I’ve prepared a pdf (attached) of the relevant pages. Bradney states that Christopher Herbert died in 1589, aged 57, but gives no source. Herbert was in fact buried in June 1590, and neither the record of his burial in the register of St Crux, nor apparently his (now lost) memorial in the church gave his age. Bradney furthermore gives his wife Elizabeth’s death as 1618 (correct, in August), and her age as 93 – i.e. born c1525. Again the St Crux register gives no age – it merely describes her as “Ould Layedy Harbartt”. Christopher and Elizabeth Herbert were probably married in 1553 (they had a continuous string of children baptised from 9 April 1554) - if Bradney were right, Christopher would have been about 21, his wife 28. Though possible, I find this a bit unlikely.

I have, incidentally, also found an online version of the 1584/5 Yorks Visitation (with various additions) you asked about, Paula, though it’s not very helpful – no arms are given, and there is no help with Christopher’s age. I’m attaching the pedigree anyway.

Bradney remains the only source I can find that mentions Herbert’s age. He gets several other details wrong in the pedigree, including the name of Herbert’s father-in-law. He also suggests C.’s father Richard was born circa 1488 (“ Beverley Church 1557, aet.69”) – meaning that in his date scenario, C., despite being the eldest son, was born when his father was 44. I suggest that Bradney is probably unreliable.

(2) Christopher Herbert was probably admitted a freeman of the City of York (and joined the Merchant Adventurers Guild) in summer 1551 (though the records have an unresolved date inconsistency relating to the Mayor named). He was a freeman by servitude (i.e. he had served an apprenticeship). Records in the book Tim found about the York Merchant Adventurers indicate that 21 was the minimum age for freedom (Christopher’s son, Thomas was made free aged 24), and seven years (later raised to eight) the term the master had to be served. This means that Christopher cannot have been born later than 1530. And it seems perfectly plausible – indeed likely – that it was some years before that.

All of which rather tedious detail serves only to demonstrate that even if the portrait did once give the sitter’s age as 47, that can still happily encompass a c1570 date of execution with an identity of Christopher Herbert plausibly born in the mid-1520s.

We still haven’t moved safely on from Paula’s original “probably Christopher Herbert”...but with the fuller armorial evidence, and his strong German/Netherlandish connections (and indeed residence), I think we’re now at the very top end of “probably”.

Georgina Hall,

It looks like its by John Bettes the Elder if you look at other male portraits by him.

Keith Dalby-Oldham,

I hesitate to enter the field amongst such eminent scholars but would ask you to re-consider the arms. The shield appears to me to be a game of two halves. The dexter (right as you look at it) side appears to have been painted by a different and cruder hand than the sinister (left). There is a certain care and quality to the various lions (in particular the detail and articulation of the lion rampant sable, 3rd quarter), which is missing in the depiction of the stars (or mullets) or in the chevron. The brush strokes of the left side of the escutcheon do not equate to those of the right. In particular the shading at the bottom left corner to give a depth and 3D effect to the framing is completely absent on the right side. The same applies when you compare the left middle with the right. It is as if the right side has been painted by a different, less skilful, person in imitation of the left. My suggestion, easily dismissed by UV, is that the escutcheon was added later and that the dexter side was then amended.

Jacquie Travers,

The following information on Christopher Herbert and his son Thomas is in the free Google ebook entitled
"History of the City of York....Vol.III
Pºinted by A. Ward ; and ſold by W. Tessexuan, J.Topp, H. Sotheran, T.Wilson, N. Frobishes, and R. Spence, Bookſellers. i -->>== | M.DCC,LXXXV,"

"Sir THOMAS HERBERT * was the Son of Chriſto pher Herbert, Son of Thomas Herbert, Merchant, and Al derman of 7'ork. He was born in this City, and probably there educated till he was admitted Commoner of jeſs College, Oxon ; which was in the Year 1621, under the Tuition of Mr. Jenkin Lloyd, his Kinſman. From hence , he went to wait upon William Earl of Pembroke, who, owning him for his Relation, and purpoſing his Ad vancement, ſent him to travel, in the Year 1626....
King Charles II. imme diately upon his Reſtoration, by Letters Patent, bearing Date july 3, 1660, created him a Baronet, by, the Name of Sir Thomas Herbert of Tintern, in Monmouth ſhire, where he had an Eſtate, the Seat of Thomas Her Bert before-mentioned.....
He died at his Houſe in 7'ork, March 1, 1681, in the ſeventy-ſixth Year of his Age; and was buried in the Church of St. Crux, or Holy Croſs, in Foſgate, where a monumental Inſcription is put over him." [pp. 63/64]
"Herbert, Thomas, Eſq; late Lord Mayor of this City, deſcended from the moſt antient and worthy Family of the Herberts of Colebrooke, in Monmouthſhire. He died April 14, 1614. York had my Birth, from Brittans comes my Race, The Netherlands and France my Youth did guide, The Citye's Rule I took at th' heavieſt Caſe, Two Wives, five Children, my dear Love have try’d. Baptized here, here laid with Sire and Wife, With Brothers, Parents, I exped a Life.
— Chriſtopher, Eſq.,Here under, expecting a glo rious Reſurrečtion, are buried the Bodys of Chriſtopher Herbert, Eſq; eldeſt Son to Sir Rich. Herbert, of Cole brooke, in Wales, which ſaid Chriſtopher Herbert was Lord Mayor of this City, and died 1611; and with him his beloved Lady Elizabeth, Daughter of Mr. Hemſworth, who died in 1613; and with them their Son Thomas Herbert, Eſq; late Lord Mayor of this City, he died April 14, 1614; and by him are en tombed his two virtuous Wives, Mary, Daughter of Thomas Harriſon, Eſq; who died Auguſt 1604; and alſo Alice, Daughter of Peter Newarke, Eſq; ſhe died 1627; as alſo John and Richard Herbert, Gents. Brothers of the ſaid Thomas are here buried. Chri ſtopher Herbert, Eſq; eldeſt Son of Thomas, who died May 3, 1626, with Henry, William, and Thomas, his Brethren, and Jane and Elizabeth his two Chil dren, Infants; which ſaid Chriſtopher has Iſſue by Jane, Daughter of Mr. Heroyd, of Folkerthorp, Gent. Thomas Herbert, Eſq; and Alice now living. Crux." [p 135]

According to 'Geni', the decent appears to be
Sir Richard Herbert, Knight of Coldbrook c. 1440 - c 1469
Sir Richard Herbert -at Coldbrook, c. Feb 1470 - 1539
Christopher Herbert - at York, 1532 - 1590
Thomas Herbert - at York, 1554 - 1614

Jacinto Regalado,

I doubt that this is a portrait by Moro (though it could be by a follower). The sitter is too provincial and too minor, quite unlike Sir Thomas Gresham, and by 1579 Moro was dead (and had not been especially active in his last years).

Jacinto Regalado,

However, after reading more of the commentary above (which I should have done before making my first comment), it appears Herbert was not so provincial, and he could have been painted by Moro in Antwerp in the 1560s.

Osmund Bullock,

Jacquie, I'm afraid the man referenced in your first extract (pp 63-64) from Combe’s 1785 ‘History & Antiquities of the City of York...’ is the well-known Sir Thomas Herbert (1606-1681/2), 1st Baronet, and quite the wrong generation. He was actually the grandson and gt-grandson of the men we’re discussing, Thomas Herbert (1554-1614) and Christopher Herbert (died 1590).

Your second extract from the book (p.135), a transcription of the monument to (the correct) Christopher Herbert and many other members of his family that was formerly in St Crux Church, has already been referenced in the long discussion above – by me, in fact, 2 years ago [q.v.], though I took it from the much earlier (1736) ‘Erboracum...’by Francis Drake, FRS. Many things in Combe’s book seem to be copied from Drake’s, and in fact Drake himself almost certainly got his version of the inscription from the writings of the C17th York antiquary James Torre. So the problem with it (it’s identical in both books) is that (a) the monument seems to date from 1627 or later, and may well have got the earlier dates wrong; and (b) the transcription may be inaccurate – the monument no longer exists, so we can’t check. Certainly, for whatever reason, some of the info in the transcription *is* wrong (e.g. Christopher’s year of death, given as 1611 instead of the wholly certain 1590). As I wrote in my earlier post, “the transcription has so many date and name errors it is not genealogically reliable”.

The Geni pedigree is also probably largely wrong – certainly it doesn’t have enough generations. The source most likely to be reliable (though there are problems with it) is the Norroy King of Arms, Richard St George’s official Visitation of Yorks in 1612 – you will find it attached it to an earlier post of mine (mistakenly described by me as the Visitation of 1584-5).

Jacob Simon,

This six-year old discussion, “Is this a portrait of merchant Christopher Herbert? Who is the artist?” asks two qustions.

On the first, it would seem appropriate to revise the existing designation “Portrait of a Gentleman” to “Probably Christopher Herbert” on the basis of the arguments set out by Paula (23 and 29 April 2015) and Osmund (30 April, 14 May 2015). If one was being more bullish, one would leave out the “Probably”. The collection asked that the sitter's identiity be added to the website in 2015 (23 April) but the decision was made to postpone action. Should the change now be made?

On the second, the artist, there is much less agreement. Moro in Antwerp, Willem Key described as his pupil, and Cornelis Ketel in England have been mentioned. Personally I don’t think it is good enough for Moro but I’m not sufficiently confident to suggest an attribution. Should the existing British School designation be maintained?

Jacinto Regalado,

The sitter is a middle-aged man, which Herbert was not in the 1560s, so Moro painting him in Antwerp then is unlikely.

Marcie Doran,

Could it be classified under "Anglo/Netherlandish School"?

I have attached a composite based on this work, the portrait of John Isham (c. 1567) that Paula Marmor mentioned above (24/04/2015 19:28), and a portrait of John Lonyson from 1565.

'Portrait of John Lonyson, Master of the Mint of England 1571–1582'
Anglo-Netherlandish School

Anonymous USA,

Sorry for joining the party so late. It sounds like at least the sitters family has been properly identified, and Christopher Herbert is a plausible identity.

However, I concur with Paula with an earlier dating of ca. 1560’s. Further, I agree with others who stylistically see this as a Flemish piece. I think Flemish with some German influence. In fact, before reading any comments, just from the picture my mind instantly went to Nicolas Neufchatel (active ?Antwerp before 1539-c. 1573 Nuremberg). His oeuvre is large enough, but when I think of the artist and his male sitters, I think of this painting, sold through Christie’s, and now with M.S.Rau Antiques in the US:

Obviously research would need to be done if/how anyone from the Herbert family may have traveled to Antwerp/Nuremberg in the 1560’s, but I think he’s worth considering.