image hobbes p0066
Image number: RS.9550
Credit: © The Royal Society
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