Hieronimos Custodis

(d. 1593)

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(b Antwerp; d ?London, ?1593). Flemish painter, active in England. He probably went to England because of religious persecution, perhaps soon after the surrender of Antwerp to the Duque de Alba in 1585. Three signed and dated portraits survive, all painted in 1589: Sir John Parker (London, Hampton Court, Royal Col.), dated 10 August, almost certainly the Sir John Parker of Ratton in Sussex, who was a Gentleman Pensioner at Court and captain of St Denis Castle in Cornwall; and Sir Giles Brydges, 3rd Lord Chandos, of Sudeley, Glos, and his 14-year-old daughter Elizabeth Brydges, later Lady Kennedy (both Woburn Abbey, Beds), both dated 8 July. A fourth, unsigned, portrait at Woburn, Frances, Lady Chandos, also dated 1589, is almost certainly by the same hand. The elaboration of the dress of mother and daughter, the cool colours and the meticulous delineation of jewellery are reminiscent of the work of Nicholas Hilliard, and Custodis also seems to owe something to the English portrait painter George Gower. Elizabeth, whose charming portrait is embellished with a little dog and a finch on a spray of eglantine, was the ‘fair Mrs Brydges’ to whom the Earl of Essex showed so much attention as to offend Queen Elizabeth. Her younger sister Catherine became the wife of Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford, through whom the three portraits presumably passed to Woburn; they were first noted there by George Vertue in 1727.


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.