(d London, 1590). Flemish merchant and collector, possibly of Italian birth. He is important in English diplomatic history for using his position as a well-connected merchant in London and the Netherlands to attempt mediation between England and Spain in the years before the Spanish Armada (1588). He was later to claim that this fruitless enterprise cost him his fortune. De Loo also has a place in the history of collecting: van Mander described him as ‘an enthusiastic lover of painting … who lived in London and bought all the works of Holbein on which he could lay hands’. Scholars have not always agreed on which specific versions of Holbein portraits de Loo owned, but it appears that he had the original of Thomas More and his Family (destr. 1752), painted in tempera on linen; the earlier of the two versions of Archbishop William Warham; and the portrait of Henry VIII's astronomer, Nicholas Kratzer (both Paris, Louvre). He also owned a version of Thomas Cromwell (probably that now in J. Chichester Constable priv. col., Burton Constable, Humberside). All these works later passed into the celebrated collection of Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel (1585–1646). Walpole claimed that de Loo also owned one of Holbein's portraits of Erasmus, which Charles I was later to own, though he exchanged it subsequently for a picture by Leonardo da Vinci.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.