Looking for a special gift? Buy a print of this image.

    Portrait of Thomas Hobbes

    Date
    ca.1661
    Sitter
    Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679, British) , Philosopher
    Creator
    Jan Baptist Jaspers (1615 - 1691, Flemish) , Artist
    Object type
    Archive reference number
    Material
    Dimensions
    height (painting): 750mm
    width (painting): 628mm
    Subject
    Description
    Half length portrait within a painted oval, looking directly to the viewer. Hobbes is shown in a black robe with a white squared collar. He has shoulder length grey hair and a small moustache and beard.
    Transcription
    THOMAS HOBBS MALMESBUVE
    Hobbs
    Royal Society proprietors
    THOMAS HOBBES of Malmesbury. (Aetat: 75.) by J.B. CASPARS (CASPERS)
    Object history
    Presented by John Aubrey.

    A letter in the Society’s collection notes Hobbes sitting for a portrait, encouraged by John Aubrey (1626-1697): “Sr. You have donne me so much honour in your acquaintance, and civilities that I want language to expresse my thankfulnesse: among other favours I particularly return you my hearty thanks for the trouble I gave you to sitt for your Picture, wch. is an honor I am not worthy of...but I assure you no man living now prizes it, not hath greater Devotion for You...” [Royal Society manuscript MS/849/2, pp.246-247 J Aubrey to T Hobbes, 30 August 1661].

    Noted in early Royal Society portrait catalogues as being “After Dobson”. The attribution to Jaspars appears in the 1931 listing and as a donation by Aubrey in 1670. [The Royal Society catalogue of portraits, June 1931, p.6].
    Associated place
    <The World>
       > Europe
          > United Kingdom
    Credit
    © The Royal Society
    Image number
    RS.9550
    Powered by CollectionsIndex+/CollectionsOnline