Biography of Thomas Flatman
English poet and miniature painter. There were several editions of his Poems and Songs (1674). One of his self-portraits is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. A portrait of Charles II is in the Wallace Collection, London. His miniatures are noted for their vitality
English miniature painter and poet. He was the son of a clerk in Chancery and entered the Inner Temple in 1658; he was called to the Bar in 1662. Among his earliest verses are lines prefixed to Sir William Sanderson’s Graphice (1658), a work containing a description of the art of miniature painting, based on Edward Norgate’s writings.
Flatman divided his career between writing poetry (in which his earnest religious temperament is revealed) and painting portraits in miniature. A versatile man, he was made a Fellow of the newly founded Royal Society in 1668. A number of his friends were leading clergymen, and many of his sitters were drawn from the Church and other intellectual circles.
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The Sad Day
O THE sad day!
When friends shall shake their heads, and say
Of miserable me--
'Hark, how he groans!
Look, how he pants for breath!
See how he struggles with the pangs of death!'
When they shall say of these dear eyes--
'How hollow, O how dim they be!
Mark how his breast doth rise and swell