How you can use this image
This image is available to be shared and re-used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (CC BY-NC-ND).
You can reproduce this image for non-commercial purposes and you are not able to change or modify it in any way.
Wherever you reproduce the image you must attribute the original creators (acknowledge the original artist(s) and the person/organisation that took the photograph of the work) and any other rights holders.
Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find more images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.Download
Buy a print or image licence
If you like this artwork you can support the collection by purchasing a reproduction as a framed OR unframed art print. We offer a selection of professionally made frames that will make your purchase look great in your home, office or other preferred setting.
Need a digital version for your site or publication? You can purchase a digital licence from Art UK and download an electronic copy of this reproduction.
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.
This painting demonstrates the different purposes portraits have served at different periods in history, being created not to flatter the sitter but to act as visual confirmation that Thomas Braithwaite wrote a will. In the seventeenth century it was thought that if it a man was shown to have put his personal affairs in order, then he would have an easier transition to the afterlife.
Looking at this painting, we are made to feel that we have become witnesses to the act, like Braithwaite’s friend George Preston of Holker, whose coat of arms are painted above his head as an additional form of identification.
Thomas Braithwaite of Ambleside Making His Will
oil on canvas
H 66 x W 58.5 cm
bequeathed by Colonel G. E. Braithwaite, 1981