Sampson Strong

(c. 1550—1611)

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(b c. 1550; d Oxford, 1611). Dutch painter, active in England. The fashion for acquiring portraits of college founders became general in the 1590s and at Oxford the type was set by Strong. His subjects, usually based on monuments in brass, stone or painted glass, are set against a narrow flat panel, sometimes red and fringed with gold; at their best they have a dignified simplicity. Strong, the son of a gentleman, settled in St Aldate's, Oxford, c. 1593. His first appearance in college accounts—where he is always called ‘Sampson the Painter’—seems to be in 1596, when he was paid £6 by New College for a picture, still in the college, of William of Wykeham (d 1404); in the background is a view of Winchester College with a belfry built by the founder. In 1597 the Oxford city authorities paid Strong £3 for a picture of the founder of St John's College, Sir Thomas White (d 1567; Oxford, St John's Coll.). In the library of Corpus Christi is a copy of 1604 by Strong of a portrait by Jan Rav (Johannes Corvus) of the founder, Bishop Richard Foxe (d 1528), and in 1605 and 1607–8 the college paid him for colouring doors and organs. He received £7 5s 0d from Magdalen College in 1605 for painting figures and monsters (destr.) mounted on small pillars in the cloisters, and All Souls paid him £5 in 1609 for a founder's portrait, Archbishop Henry Chichele (d 1443; Oxford, All Souls Coll.). Bust-portraits by him dating from 1610 of Cardinal Wolsey (d 1530) are at Magdalen and Christ Church.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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