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Cornelius Johnson (1593-1661)
Sir Thomas Hanmer (1612-1678)
oil on canvas
Sir Thomas Hanmer of Bettisfield Park in Flintshire was a page and cup-bearer at the court of Charles I, known as a man of taste and fashion, and a noted horticulturalist. He became MP for Flint in 1640, and during the Civil War he raised troops for the Royalists. In 1644, as the Royalist cause waned, he fled to France. There, he studied French gardens and in the 1650s he wrote The Garden Book of Sir Thomas Hanmer. He introduced a tulip now known as Agate Hanmer to Britain and cultivated vines at Bettisfield Park.
The artist Cornelius Johnson was born in London of Netherlandish parents and was popular at the Court of Charles I. He was renowned for his sensitive, restrained portraits. However, his career was eclipsed when Van Dyck arrived at Court in 1632. Indeed, Hanmer was also painted by Van Dyck in the late 1630s.
Purchased, 1944
NMW A 40

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