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Catherine of Berain (1535-1591), 'the Grandmother of Wales' (after Adriaen van Cronenburgh)

Joseph Allen (Birmingham 1770 – Erdington 1839)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1568 (date of original) - circa 1799

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

972 x 673 mm (38 1/4 x 26 1/2 in)

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Collection

Erddig, Wrexham (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Erddig, Wrexham, Wales, National Trust

NT 1151363

Caption

Catherine of Berain was the daughter of Tudur ap Robert Vychan of Berain in Denbighshire and the grand-daughter of Sir Roland Velville, an illegitimate son of Henry VII. She married four times: John Salisbury (d. 1566), in 1556/7; Sir Richard Clough of Denbigh (d. 1570) in 1566; Morris Wynn of Gwydyr (d. 1580) in 1572 and Edward Thelwall of Plas y Ward in 1583. She had six children who also procreated profusely and became known as 'The Mother (or Grandmother) of Wales’. Here she is painted, wearing a black dress with gold girdle with one hand resting on a skull and holding a book in the other, as the wife of Sir Richard Clough, a rich merchant and partner of Sir Thomas Gresham, then resident at Antwerp. This is a copy of the original painting now in the National Museum of Wales by Adriaen van Croneneburgh (1520/25 - 1604).

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Catherine of Berain (1535-1591) by Joseph Allen (Birmingham 1770 – Erdington 1839), circa 1799, after Adriaen van Cronenburgh (1520/25 - 1604) (North Netherlandish), 1568. She stands, three-quarter length, by a table, wearing a black with gold girdle with her left hand resting on a skull and holding a book in her right hand. Known as the 'Grandmother of Wales', she married successively John Salisbury (d. 1566), in 1556/7; Sir Richard Clough of Denbigh (d. 1570) in 1566; Morris Wynn of Gwydyr (d. 1580) in circa 1572 and Edward Thelwall of Plas y Ward in circa 1583. She had six children by her first three husbands, who in turn begat mightily, thus earning her her sobriquet. Painted as the wife of Sir Richard Clough, an immensely rich merchant and partner of Sir Thomas Gresham, then resident at Antwerp. She was the grand-daughter of an illegitimate son of Henry VII. After the original painting now in the National Museum of Wales by Adriaen van Croneneburgh.

Provenance

Cf.ERD/D/7; Steegman No.20 (as copy of portrait at ...?). Given by Philip Yorke III (1905 – 1978) along with the estate, house and contents to the National Trust in 1973

Marks and inscriptions

'Catherine Tudor of Beren AN.DNI. 1568'

Makers and roles

Joseph Allen (Birmingham 1770 – Erdington 1839), artist after Adriaen van Cronenburgh (1520/25 - 1604), artist

References

Steegman 1957 John Steegman, A Survey of Portraits in Welsh Houses Vol.I: North Wales, Cardiff 1957, p.96. "PORTRAITS AT ERDDIG ADDITIONAL PORTRAITS 20. KATHERINE OF BERAIN (1535-1591) A celebrated figure in Welsh genealogical hisotyr. Copy of the portrait at Garthewin."

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