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Gawen Goodman of Ruthin (1526-1604)

BRITISH SCHOOL, 16th Century

Gawen Goodman of Ruthin (1562-1604)

Date: 1582

Media: oil on panel

Size: 49.5 x 42.0 cm

Acquired: 1930; Bequest; The Hon. Mrs Lawrence Brodrick

Accession Number: NMW A 3453

Gawen Goodman of Ruthin is shown aged fifty-six, wearing a memorial ring.  The skull is a reminder of our own mortality. The inscriptions include the Christian reflections Deum timere (Fear God) and Iesus est amor meus (Jesus is my love). He is portrayed as a devout, respectable man, but the poet Thomas Prys wrote of him, 'If he once gets at the wines of a town, he'll not come home without tripping: well I know how he can drink his share; If there's sack to be had, he'll not put up with gruel. A generous and godly man is Gawain-when in his cups.’


Heather Swaine
28 February 2017, 20:11
Hello. I would be interested in knowing more about this painting and Gawen himself. I have read he was a Ruthin merchant and came from two good Welsh families. Were they minor aristocracy or gentry?
Thank you

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