Prolific and successful in his lifetime, Cornelius Johnson is the forgotten man of 17th-century British art. This display looks at a range of his paintings including rarely seen portraits of the King’s children.
Much 16th and 17th century British art – especially art made for the elites – was in fact produced by migrants, especially from the Netherlands. The portraitist known in Britain as ‘Cornelius Johnson’ (and in the Netherlands as ‘Cornelis Jonson van Ceulen’) had a reverse career trajectory. Born in London in 1593, to an exile from Antwerp whose family had originated in Cologne, Jonson apparently trained in the northern Netherlands.