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Painted Pomp: Art and Fashion in the Age of Shakespeare

Holburne Museum
Great Pulteney Street
Richard Sackville, 3rd Earl of Dorset, William Larkin, oil on canvas


Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Admission£6.95 per ticket

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.


Nine exceptional full-length Jacobean portraits by William Larkin, painted around 1613-18, have been generously lent to the Holburne by English Heritage. This exhibition will bring them together with rare survivals of Jacobean dress and live interpretation to explore art and fashion four hundred years ago.

The paintings are on loan from English Heritage during the closure of Kenwood House for restoration. They come originally from the collection of the Earls of Suffolk and Berkshire at Charlton Park, Malmesbury, not far from Bath. The portraits by William Larkin (c.1580-1619) depict members of an extended family, relatives of Thomas Howard, the first Earl of Suffolk. They may well have been made to mark the marriage between the Cecil and Howard families, the cream of Jacobean courtly society during a turbulent period of intrigue and social change.

The most striking features of the portraits are the breathtaking costumes, recorded by the artist in painstaking detail to reflect the huge wealth and status of the sitters. The exhibition will bring the paintings together with some exceptionally fine and rare examples of surviving Jacobean costume similar to those depicted in the portraits.

Visitors will be able to see the extraordinary handiwork that went into shirts, lace, shoes, an exquisite floral bodice, embroidered gloves, and a fan. Lenders include the Royal Collection, the Ashmolean Museum, the Worshipful Company of Glovers and Bath’s Fashion Museum.

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