George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland

1 portrait by Nicholas Hilliard

George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, after Nicholas Hilliard, (circa 1590) - NPG 277 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland

after Nicholas Hilliard
oil on canvas, (circa 1590)
29 7/8 in. x 24 in. (759 mm x 610 mm)
Purchased, 1869
Primary Collection
NPG 277


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  • Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619), Miniature painter. Artist associated with 34 portraits.

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The eldest son of Henry de Clifford, George succeeded his father to become the 3rd Earl of Cumberland in 1570. A gambler who wasted his family's estates, he was nonetheless a favourite at Elizabeth I's court. As a naval commander he commanded one of the queen's ships against the Armada and fitted out ten privateering expeditions against Spain and its colonies. This portrait is an early nineteenth-century copy after the panel portrait in the Bodleian, Oxford. It shows the Earl in tournament fancy dress wearing a grey jacket adorned with magnificent jewels in gold mounts over armour decorated with gilt bands and stars. On his head he wears a hat with a turned-up brim lined with white and topped with pink ostrich plumes.

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