Sir Thomas Mansel and his wife, Jane

Sir Thomas Mansel and his wife, Jane
British School

This is a double portrait that shows a ¾-length view of Sir Thomas Mansel of Margam - a member of one of the wealthiest families in south Wales at the time.

The Mansel family of Oxwich became wealthy by investing in monastic lands following Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries. Sir Thomas was the MP for Glamorgan. He inherited the family house in 1595, which had been built on the site of Margam Abbey, near Neath.

During the first two decades of the 17th century, this generation of the family commissioned several portraits in the formal heraldic style, such as this. The purpose of this type of portrait was not to show the personality of the sitter but to publicly display the social status and wealth of the family.

Leave a comment