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Sir Henry Unton (?1557–1596), soldier and diplomat of Wadley in Berkshire, was knighted for his courage at the Battle of Zutphen in 1586. In 1591 he was to be sent as an ambassador to France, where he died five years later.The artist's name is not recorded, although the composition and handling recall that of portraits signed by Hieronimo Custodis. Custodis was born in Antwerp but came to England in the 1580s, perhaps as a religious exile. He was dead by 1593.A posthumous picture in the National Portrait Gallery by another unknown painter shows Unton surrounded by scenes from his life and death.

May 2007