Portrait of William Style of Langley

School 17th century1636

Tate Britain

Tate Britain
London, United Kingdom

Style was a lawyer involved in the Counter-Reformation religious movement and his portrait is full of symbolic elements. The emblem on the floor and its motto proclaim that the human heart cannot be satisfied by worldly matters, but burns for the spiritual life. Style therefore turns his back on the trappings of his earthly life, represented by his family arms set in the window, by his books and writings and by the small violin. Instead, he moves towards the Church, symbolised by a closed garden, beyond which lies a pagan wilderness, including a classical ruin.


  • Title: Portrait of William Style of Langley
  • Creator: School 17th century
  • Date Created: 1636
  • Provenance: Purchased 1978
  • Physical Dimensions: w1359 x h2051 mm
  • Original Title: Portrait of William Style of Langley
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on Canvas

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps