Artist biography

Flemish painter, active in England. ‘Jan Euworts' was listed in 1540 as a freeman of the Guild of St Luke in Antwerp, but by 1545 he had moved to England, where until 1571 his name, spelt in a wide variety of ways appeared in numerous naturalisation, tax and parish documents. About 35 paintings are generally attributed to him, consisting primarily of dated portraits of the English gentry and nobility.

Eworth was the principal court portrait painter during the reign (1553–8) of the Catholic queen Mary Tudor. Eworth also received the large majority of his portrait commissions from Catholic patrons. This close association with the Roman Church was a major reason for his fall from court favour during the reign of Elizabeth.

Only towards the end of his life did Eworth again work for the court. In 1572, after the death of the Serjeant painter who would customarily have been in charge of royal festivals, he was called in to design decorations and costumes for an allegorical representation of Parnassus, part of the celebrations in honour of the arrival of the French ambassadors. In 1573–4 he continued to design masques for the Office of Revels.

L. Cust: ‘The Painter HE', Walpole Soc., ii (1913), pp. 1–44
E. Auerbach: ‘Holbein's Followers in England', Burl. Mag., xciii (1951), pp. 44–51
E. Waterhouse: Painting in Britain, 1530–1790, Pelican Hist. A. (Harmondsworth, 1953)
E. Auerbach: Tudor Artists (London, 1954)
R. H. Wilenski: Flemish Painters, 1430–1830, 2 vols (New York, 1960)
O. Millar: The Tudor, Stuart, and Early Georgian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, 2 vols (London, 1963)
Hans Eworth: A Tudor Artist and his Circle (exh. cat., ed. R. Strong; London, N.P.G., 1965)
R. Strong: ‘Hans Eworth Reconsidered', Burl. Mag., cviii (1966), pp. 225–33
F. A. Yates: ‘The Allegorical Portraits of Sir John Luttrell', Essays Presented to Rudolf Wittkower (London, 1967), pp. 149–50
R. Strong: The English Icon: Elizabethan and Jacobean Portraiture (London, 1969)
D. Piper, ed.: The Genius of British Painting (New York, 1975)


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