Nathaniel Cholmley (1684–1755)

Image credit: Ferens Art Gallery

How you can use this image

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised. Any other type of use will need to be cleared with the rights holder(s).

Review the copyright credit lines that are located underneath the image, as these indicate who manages the copyright (©) within the artwork, and the photographic rights within the image.

The collection that owns the artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

The painter of this portrait has recently been identified as a leading Italian artist of the 17th century, Benedetto Gennari. Italian portraitists were in demand in England for their skills, honed in a country where painting was prized.

The portrait shows Nathaniel Cholmley as a wealthy, learned man, dressed in what was then a fashionable outfit, a richly patterned tea-gown, with his hair dressed but not powdered. The sitter obviously requested an informal portrait from the artist, who depicted Cholmley gesturing to a pile of letters on the table to his side, as if engaging the viewer in a conversation about their content or writer. The artist has cleverly included the sitter’s name in the portrait by showing Chomley holding a letter addressed to himself.

Ferens Art Gallery

Kingston upon Hull


Nathaniel Cholmley (1684–1755)




oil on canvas


H 122.5 x W 100.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased at Strickland (?) sale, Spencer’s of Retford, 1950

Work type



This artwork does not have any tags yet. You can help by tagging artworks on Tagger.

Art Detective discussions

Through Art Detective, you can help us to discover more about this artwork. Public collections around the country have many more artworks in need of research. Find out how you can get involved.

Ferens Art Gallery

Queen Victoria Square, Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire HU1 3RA England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
View venue