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King James I of England and VI of Scotland

2 of 198 portraits of King James I of England and VI of Scotland

King James I of England and VI of Scotland, by Unknown artist, circa 1590 - NPG 1188 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

King James I of England and VI of Scotland

by Unknown artist
oil on panel, circa 1590
8 in. x 5 5/8 in. (203 mm x 143 mm)
Purchased, 1899
Primary Collection
NPG 1188


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This portrait shows James as king of Scotland before he succeeded to the crown of England and Wales. On the death of Elizabeth I in 1603, James moved his court to London. Previously thought to be a nineteenth century painting, recent technical analysis has shown that this portrait dates from the late sixteenth century.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D16663: King James I of England and VI of Scotland (after)
  • NPG D42678: King James I of England and VI of Scotland (after)
  • NPG D42679: King James I of England and VI of Scotland (after)

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Events of 1590back to top

Current affairs

King James VI of Scotland brings his wife Anne of Denmark to Edinburgh for her coronation at Holyrood Abbey. Death of Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth I's Principal Secretary and spymaster. The colonial governor John White returns to Roanoke Island (in present day North Carolina, USA) to find the settlement deserted. The lost colonists include his granddaughter Virginia Dare, the first English child to be born in America.

Art and science

The courtier, poet and soldier Sir Philip Sidney's pastoral romance Arcadia is published posthumously. It is one of the first English vernacular works to achieve a European readership, with translations into French, German, Dutch and Italian. The poet and administrator Edmund Spenser publishes the first three books of The Faerie Queene, an epic allegorical poem in praise of Queen Elizabeth I.

International

Henry IV of France defeats the Catholic League under Charles, Duke of Mayenne at the Battle of Ivry. The King marches on Paris before being driven back by Catholic forces sent by Philip II of Spain. Abbas I, Shah of Persia makes peace with the Ottoman Empire, allowing him to campaign agaist the Uzbeks. Toyotomi Hideyoshi defeats the Hojo clan at the Siege of Odawara, Japan. The victory completes Hideyoshi's military reunification of Japan.

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