Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of Geoffrey Chaucer (?1340 - 1400) 1600c.

 English School 

Portrait of Geoffrey Chaucer (?1340 - 1400),  English School
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Oil on oak panel
17th Century
12 x 10 inches 31.75 x 26 cm
 
This portrait of the author of the Canterbury Tales, the first book printed in England, derives like a very closely comparable example in the National Portrait Gallery, London from a portrait painted by Chaucer''s younger contemporary Occleve in the manuscript of his De Regimine Principum. Occleve who admired Chaucer deeply, wished to perpetuate the master's likeness, and so this portrait-type, though posthumous has considerable authority and can claim to be a true representation of his features. The present painting was painted c.1600, presumably for a patron's library, and acknowledges Chaucer's long-held position as the first Great of English writing and the de facto father of Modern English literature.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.