The Garden Museum was founded to celebrate the lives of the Tradescants, gardeners to Charles I and Queen Henrietta, and whose significant family collections formed the basis of the Ashmolean.

This is the first contemporary portrait they have been able to acquire of the Tradescant family in their 30-year history. John Tradescant the Younger took over as head gardener to the king following the death of his father in 1638. He looks out from this tiny oval portrait with soft, sad eyes. It has been suggested that this miniature – a copy of a larger oil portrait now in the Ashmolean – was commissioned by Tradescant’s wife Hester to wear in a locket following his death in 1662.


Professor Andrew Gemmell; by descent. An Art Loss Register search has been carried out.

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