Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex

1 portrait on display in Room 2 at the National Portrait Gallery

Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, circa 1597 - NPG 4985 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex

by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger
oil on canvas, circa 1597
85 7/8 in. x 50 in. (2180 mm x 1272 mm)
Purchased, 1974
Primary Collection
NPG 4985


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A Venetian observer described how, after taking Cadiz, Essex had 'on this last voyage...began to grow a beard, which he used not to wear'. This portrait was painted soon afterwards and shows him as a Knight of the Garter. It may have been commissioned by Sir Henry Lee, from whose collection it descends, possibly as a pair to a similar portrait of himself (Royal Armouries, London). Lee, with Essex's help, was made a Garter Knight in 1597.

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