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William Trumbull and art collecting in Jacobean England

David Howarth


THIS article is concerned with some of the papers of William Trumbull the Elder in the British Library, which relate to the visual arts in Jacobean England. As was suggested by Sonia Anderson and Leonard Forster in a recent issue of this journal, the Trumbull archive is remarkably rich for the cultural historian, and many scattered references in it reveal the catholicity of those collectors in England with whom Trumbull dealt from Brussels. The acquisition of Italian art by the early Stuarts is a well-rehearsed story, but Trumbull's correspondents provide the earliest evidence we have to suggest that Jacobeans were drawn not only to contemporary Dutch portraits by Miereveld and Honthorst, but to early Renaissance German artists; even, indeed, to the great painters of the vanished Burgundian court which had melted away a century before Trumbull came to live among its monuments.

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