Hugh Latimer, English School Antique Oil on Mahogany Panel
A really charming original oil on mahogany panel painting of Hugh Latimer (ca. 1487-1555), the Bishop of Worcester, probably 19th century, but patinated to imitate a reformation era work. A very nice, naive work.
The painting depicts Latimer in 3/4 profile facing right, the half-length view showing his ministerial garb.
The oil painting exhibits expected age-related wear including heavy craquelure. There is no visible artist's signature or monogram under the rich patina. The beveled mahogany panel verso bears two original labels, the first that of a London art dealer, art supplier, and art restorer; and the second a pen-inscribed label reading "Small half-length painting of Bishop Latimer."
The London art dealer, George Bassett, was listed in ca. 1860-1870 London post office directories as being a gilder and carver. Here, his business label reads in part: "Geo. Bassett, / Dealer in Paintings, Marbles, Bronzes, and / Articles of Vertu, / & Picture-Frame Maker, No. 12, Bear Street, / Leicester Square, London / Old paintings cleaned, lined, & restored - paintings / bought or sold on commission." The gilt frame shows some isolated loss to the edges and corners.
Overall size: 7.25" x 8.45" x 1."
The charming portrait of one of the three "Oxford Martyrs" resembles numerous line engravings, stipple engravings, and mezzotints produced in the eighteenth century, most notably the 1715 line engraving after George Vertue.
Hugh Latimer was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1515. He survived the transition from Catholicism to Anglicanism, being appointed Bishop of Worcester in 1535. He served as Anglican chaplain to King Edward VI. Yet Latimer's inclinations towards church reform, including the belief that the Bible should be translated into English, alienated arch conservatives. For this and other unorthodox ideas, Latimer was tried and convicted of heresy. Nicholas Ridley (1500-1555), Bishop of London and Westminster, and Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), Archbishop of Canterbury, were also burnt at the stake during the Marian persecution. Together, Latimer, Ridley, and Cranmer are known as the Oxford Martyrs.