Cornelius Johnson, British, 1593-1661
Title: John Digby, 1st Earl of Bristol (1580-1653)
Date: 1628
Medium: Oil on canvas
78 x 63 cm
Signed: lower right: C.J. fecit 1628
Credit Line: Purchased, 1907
Object Number: NGI.584
Label TextCornelius Johnson was a prolific portraitist, born in London to Flemish immigrant parents. This trompe l’oeil portrait, in which he creates the illusion of an oval opening in a stone slab, is typical of his early style. He depicted John Digby, an English diplomat, in a relaxed manner. The strings of his band (collar) lie untied and his expression is soft and intimate. His identity is revealed by the seal ring, engraved with his family crest, which hangs from a band-string. Between 1610 and 1624 Digby spent periods of time in Madrid as resident ambassador.

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