George Gower (1540-1596)

Do you think you may own a painting by George Gower ? We perform art authenticationsart appraisalsart research and provide Certificates of Authenticity (COA) as well as consultations, for all paintings by George Gower.

Gower painting, Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait
1579
Private Collection

Gower painting, Elizabeth I (Armada Portrait)

Elizabeth I (Armada Portrait)
1588
National Portrait Gallery, London

George Gower was an English painter, best known for painting Queen Elizabeth and becoming her Serjeant Painter in 1581. Not much information is known about Gower’s early life and family, other than the fact that his grandfather was Sir John Gower of Stettenham, Yorkshire.

Gower painting, Mary Cornwallis

Mary Cornwallis
c. 1580
Manchester Art Gallery

Gower’s earliest known work dates to 1573 and consists of a pair of portraits for Sir Thomas Kytson and Lady Kytson. Both portraits now belong to the Tate Gallery in London.

Gower painting, Sir Thomas Coningsby

Sir Thomas Coningsby
1572 Oil on panel 94 x 69.9 cm
National Portrait Gallery, London

In 1581 Gower’s appointment as “Serjeant Painter” drastically changed the course of his career. Gower proceeded to paint numerous aristocrats in England in addition to the Queen herself. Gower not only painted portraits, but was commissioned to do most of the royal, decorative painting. Gower painted coaches and furniture, as well as a fountain and clock at the Hampton Court Palace.

Gower painting, Sir Thomas Kytson

Sir Thomas Kytson
1573 Oil on oak panel 527 x 400 mm
Tate Gallery

Gower is possibly best known for the “Armada Portrait” of Queen Elizabeth, which now hangs at the Woburn Abbey, in addition to a smaller version, which belongs to the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Gower painting, Sir Thomas Kytson

Lady Kytson
1573 Oil on Wood
Tate Gallery

While many details of Gower’s work and life are unknown, his surviving works are greatly valued in British and international collections. His work is an important addition to any medieval or British collection. Do you think you may own a painting by George Gower? Contact us. We are the Gower experts.