2nd Earl of Arundel, Thomas Howard

(1585—1646) art collector and politician

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(b Finchingfield, Essex, 7 July 1585; d Padua, 4 Oct. 1646).

English diplomat, collector, and patron. Apart from Charles I, he was the greatest English collector of his time. His knowledge of art was based partly on extensive travels in Europe, his most important journey being made with Inigo Jones in 1613–14. His agents sought out antiquities from all over Europe and even the Levant. He also patronized living artists, notably Rubens and van Dyck (both of whom painted him), and he brought Hollar to England in 1636. Among the Old Masters, he was particularly interested in Holbein, whose Christina, Duchess of Milan (1538, NG, London) he owned. Arundel became bankrupt in 1639, leading to the break-up of his collections; they are now widely dispersed, but much of his classical sculpture is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Subjects: Art — Early Modern History (1500 to 1700).

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