An Allegorical Portrait of Sir John Luttrell (c.1519-1551)
after Hans Eworth (Antwerp c.1525 – ?London after 1578)
The bearded soldier, Sir John Luttrell, is wading, naked, through a stormy sea. He is shaking his fist in defiance at a vision of a figure of Peace, holding an olive branch, and laying her hand on his arm. With her in the cloud are other mythological characters who have Sir John’s warhorse, his armour and money bags. The portrait is a commemorative work, after the Treaty of Boulogne in March 1550 that effectively ended the seven-year War of Rough Wooing, between the English and France and Scotland, that Sir John had long served in. He was defeated at Broughty Castle, witnessed by Mary of Guise, wife of James V of Scotland, and held for ransom, for which the English paid handsomely as he was not disgraced. The inscriptions on his bracelets read: Nec Fingit Discremen [Not to Discriminate] and Nec Fregit Lucrum [Not in Cold Profit 1550]. A ship, struck by lightning, is sinking and men are putting off in boats. A drowned figure, possibly alluding to the death of his brother during the war, floats passed in the waves. This is a version, painted forty years later for George Luttrell, of Hans Eworth’s original, of 1550/1, owned by John, Lord Lumley, and now in the Courtauld Institute Gallery, London. The inscription on the rock reads: More than the Rock Amydys the Raging Seas, The Constant Hert no Danger Dreddys nor Fearys S. I. L. [Sir John Luttrell], 1550 HE [Hans Eworth]
Oil painting on panel, An Allegorical Portrait of Sir John Luttrell (c.1519-1551), after Hans Eworth (Antwerp c.1525 – ?London after 1578), inscribed after original 1550 and 1591. A half-length portrait of Sir John shown naked, wading in a stormy sea. To the right a man-o'-war, flying the red cross of Saint George and marked with three unidentified coats of arms, is sinking in the storm and men are putting off in boats; to the left a drowned man floats in the waves. In a rift in the clouds on the left is a vision of Peace, a naked figure with an olive branch, who lays her hand on Sir John's upraised right arm; surrounding the figure of Peace are smaller allegorical figures, with Sir John's warhorse, his arms and money bags. The original, painted around 1550/51, is in the Courtauld Institute Gallery, London.
In inventory 1781 & 1910 as in Inner Hall in both; previously on loan, 1975; gift of Lt.-Col.Geoffrey Walter Fownes Luttrell (1919 – 2007) to the National Trust in 1981
Marks and inscriptions
Recto: Signed on the rock, bottom left: 1550/HE Recto: Right hand bracelet: Nec Flexit LUCRUM [Neither swayed by love of gain] Recto: Left hand bracelet: Nec Fregit Discremen [Nor deterred by danger] Recto: On the rock bottom left: MORE THE THE ROCK AMYDYS THE RAGING SEAS/THE CONSTAT HERT NO DANGER DREDDYS NOR FEARYS/ *S. I. L.* Recto: The 'restoration' [ ADL] is also recorded: Effgiem renovare tuam fortissime miles/Ingens me meritum fecit, amorg tui/Nam nisi curasses haeredem scribere fratrem/Hei, tua contigerant pradia nulla mihi./ 1591. G.L.
Makers and roles
after Hans Eworth (Antwerp c.1525 – ?London after 1578), artist
Lyte 1909 Sir H. C. Maxwell Lyte, History of Dunster, and of the families of Mohun & Luttrell. London 1909, Vol. I, pp.156-59 Lyte 1912 Sir H. C. Maxwell Lyte, Dunster and its Lords, London 1912, pp.73-74 Collins Baker and Constable, 1930: C.H.Collins Baker and W.G. Constable, English Painting of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Florence and Paris, 1930, p. 24 Cust 1913 Lionel Cust, 'The Painter HE', Walpole Society, II, 1913, pp.1-44, p. 19, pl. IV, rep. Waterhouse 1994 Ellis K. Waterhouse, Painting in Britain 1530-1790, Pelican History of Art, Harmondsworth, [1st Pub.1953], 1994 ed., pp. 15-16, pl. 12 rep. Yates 1967 Frances A. Yates, 'The Allegorical Portraits of Sir John Luttrell' in D. Fraser, H. Hibbard and M.J. Levine, (eds.), Essays in the History of Art presented to Rudolf Wittkower, London 1967, pp.149-60 Claerbergen 2000 Ernst Vegelin van Claerbergen ( ed.), The Portrait of Sir John Luttrell: A Tudor Mystery, Courtauld Gallery, Courtauld Institute of Art, London 8 December 1999 - 5 March 2000, fig. 2 Dunster Castle, Somerset, 2003: [The National Trust], 2003, p. 9