Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex

1 portrait on display in Room 3 at Montacute House

Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex, by Unknown artist, circa 1575 (1572) - NPG 4984 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex

by Unknown artist
oil on panel, circa 1575 (1572)
42 7/8 in. x 31 1/8 in. (1089 mm x 790 mm)
Purchased, 1974
Primary Collection
NPG 4984

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Recent analysis of this panel has shown that the portrait is painted on English oak from the West Midlands area, and that the tree was felled some time after 1560. A number of versions of this portrait exist, all of which, including this one, are dated 1572. This version, in which he holds an Earl Marshal's baton, probably should be dated to 1575, the year in which he was made Earl Marshal. Essex wears a splendid suit of armour which was almost certainly never intended to be worn in the field. The Latin inscription translates as 'envy is the companion of excellence'.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • MacLeod, Catherine, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection at Montacute House, 1999, p. 19
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 208