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IIIF Actions
Cornelius Johnson, 1593–1661
Sir Alexander Temple
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on panel
26 x 20 inches (66 x 50.8 cm)

Inscribed in ocher paint, upper right: "Aetatis Suae, 37"; in ocher paint, lower left: "LD. Gust : Hamilton"

Signed and dated in black paint, lower right: "C.J. fecit 1620"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
brown | collar | floral | gorget | Jacobean | man | oval | portrait | red | Tudor | yellow
Associated People:
Temple, Alexander
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

This portrait of Sir Alexander Temple was once part of a larger group of paintings by Cornelius Johnson that hung at Burford Priory in Oxfordshire, home to William Lenthall, who was Speaker of the House of Commons during the 1650s. The sash that Temple wears around his chest and the gorget around his neck probably refer to his appointment as the Captain of West Tilbury Fort in Essex in 1619. Temple was a relative of Lenthall by virtue of his niece’s marriage to William Lenthall’s brother John. These individuals were among Johnson’s earliest patrons and ordered copies of these portraits from the artist to be shared with members of their extended family. It is thanks to the survival of these copies that we know that the later inscriptions on the bottom left of the picture are incorrect, allowing us to identify the sitter correctly.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 128-129, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Cornelius Johnson, 1593-1661 : painter to king & country, The Weiss Gallery, London, 2016, pp.21-22, fig. 4, NJ18.J26225 A12 2016 (LC) OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

A. J. Finberg, A Chronological List of Portraits by Cornelius Johnson, or Jonson, Volume of the Walpole Society, vol. 10, London, 1921-1922, p. 8, cat. 3, N12 W35 A1 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

John Rushout Northwick, Catalogue of the collection of pictures at Northwick Park, Chiswick Press, London, 1921, p. 125, cat. 318, N5247 N67 A55 (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. 13, 16, 72-74, fig. 42, CC78.3 .T94 2011 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ellis Waterhouse, The Dictionary of 16th & 17th Century British Painters, Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1988, p. 144, ND464 W38 1988 (LC) (YCBA) [YCBA]

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