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Robert Peake the Elder, ca. 1551–1619

Portrait of a Man, possibly Thomas Howard, third Viscount Bindon (ca. 1539–1611)

Former Title(s):

Portrait of a Man

An Unknown Military Commander, Aged 60, signed and dated 1593

Materials & Techniques:
Oil on panel
44 1/2 × 35 1/4 inches (113 × 89.5 cm)

Changed in yellow paint, upper right: from "1599 | Æts 66 ," to "1593 | Æts 60 ," (Æ followed by ts in superscript); signed in black on verso, upper left: "M.BY.RO. | PEAKE" (A and K in monogram)

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
armor | baton | costume | man | officer (military officer) | portrait | Tudor
Associated People:
Howard, Thomas, third Viscount Howard of Bindon (ca. 1539–1611)
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

This vigorous portrait is the only signed work by the English-born painter Robert Peake the Elder. The identity of the sitter is uncertain, and, puzzlingly, the inscribed date was changed from 1599 to 1593 soon after the painting was made. There is good reason to believe that it represents Thomas Howard, third Viscount Bindon (ca. 1539–1611), a junior member of the premier aristocratic family in England. Bindon was a difficult and unpopular figure, described by Sir Walter Raleigh as a “peevish fool,” but thanks to family connections he was given command of the troops responsible for defending the south west of England against possible Spanish or French attack, which explains the baton and high-status black armor.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Acquisitions : The First Decade 1977-1986, Yale Center for British Art , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1986, p. 17, no. 43, N590.2 A7 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Tarnya Cooper, Painting in Britain , 1500-1630 : production, Influences, and patronage, British Academy, Oxford, 2015, pp. 289, 291, fig. 17.1, ND465 .P35 2015 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 176-177, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Lawrence Hendra, Love's labour's found : Elizabethan & Jacobean portraiture, Philip Mould Ltd., London, pp. 13, 59, fig. 8, 59, ND1314.P44 L68 2021+ (YCBA) [YCBA]

Duncan Robinson, Acquisitions : The First Decade 1977 - 1986, , Burlington Magazine, vol. 128, October 1986, p. 17, no. 43, N1 B87 128:3 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Sotheby's sale catalogue : Catalogue of Fine English Portraits of the 16th and 17th centuries removed from Melton Constable, Norfolk : 1 February 1950, Sotheby's, London, 1 February 1950, p. 11, lot 89, Film B12, reel 13 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ian Tyers, The tree-ring analysis of 23 panel paintings from the Yale Center for British Art , New Haven, dendrochronological consultancy report 470 , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2011, pp.16, 37, 38, 60-62, fig. 33, CC78.3 .T94 2011 [ORBIS]

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