ca. 1609-1619
Flemish (active in England)
Oil on canvas
Framed: 91 1/4 × 56 1/4 in. (231.78 × 142.88 cm)
Unframed: 80 1/4 × 45 1/4 in. (203.84 × 114.94 cm)

Sir Thomas Dale (ca. 1560s–1619), an accomplished soldier and efficient administrator, was knighted in acknowledgment of his talents by King James I in June 1606. Depicted wearing fashionable period attire, including a flat lace collar, bulbous breeches, and black hose, Dale’s professional identity as a commander is indicated by the armor resting on the table behind him.

The Virginia Company sought Dale’s assistance to revive what was then an ailing colony, and he arrived there on May 10, 1611, to serve as acting deputy governor. In September, he led three hundred settlers to form a new township at Henrico, named in honor of King James’s eldest son. There Dale attempted to make peace with the Indians, among other things encouraging the marriage of Powhatan’s daughter Pocahontas to English settler John Rolfe.

Currently attributed to Geeraerts, this portrait is the work of a skilled artist fluent in the international court styles of his day.

Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Lamont, Edward. The Forty Years that Created America. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. pp. 131, b&w ill.

Hobson Woodward, A Brave Vessel The TrueTale of the Castaways who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ (New York: Viking, 2009) b&w ill. n.p.

Richard Ormond and James Taylor, Rule Britannia! Art, Royalty & Power in the Age of Jamestown ex. cat. (Richmond: VMFA in asso. with John Adamson, Cambridge, England) p. 28, color ill. p. 29.

Lisa Antonelli Bacon, Virginia. A Commonwealth Comes of Age. An Illustrated History (Sun Valley, CA: American Historical Press, 2004) p. 16, b&w ill. p.18.

James Horn, A Land as God Made it: Jamestown and the Birth of America (New York: Basic Books, 2005) p. 193, b&w ill. p.194, credit p.292.

Sara B. Bearrs, et al, eds. Dictionary of Virginia Biography Vol. III (Richmond: Library of Virginia, 2006) b&w det., dust jacket.

Camilla Townsend, Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004) p. 109, b&w ill.

Philip Levy, "A New Look at an Old Wall: Indians, Englishmen, Landscape and the 1634 Palisade at Middle Plantation," b&w ill. p. 241.

Robert A. Leath, "Dutch Trade and Its Influence on 17th-Century Chesapeake Furniture," American Furniture 1997 (Hanover & London: University Press of New England, in asso. with the Chipstone Foundation, 1997) pp. 21-22, b&w ill. fig. I, p. 22.

George Sullivan, In Their Own Words Pocahontas (New York: Scholastic Inc., 2001) b&w ill. p. 77, credit p. 124.

James Kelty, America the Bountiful video (San Luis Obispo, CA: California Polytechnic State University Foundation, 1991) det.

Anne Holler, Pocahontas, Powhatan Peacemaker, North American Indians of Achievement (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1993) p. 77, ill.

Peter Lampe, Pocahontas The Indian Princess in the English Court (Munich: Diederichs, 1995) p. 111, credit p. 180.

Edward Wright Haile, James Town Narratives (Champlain, Va: Roundhouse, 1998) p. 776, b&w ill.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.