Sir Henry Lee

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

Sir Henry Lee, by Anthonis Mor (Antonio Moro), 1568 - NPG 2095 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Henry Lee

by Anthonis Mor (Antonio Moro)
oil on panel, 1568
25 1/4 in. x 21 in. (641 mm x 533 mm)
Given by Harold Lee-Dillon, 17th Viscount Dillon, 1925
Primary Collection
NPG 2095

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  • Sir Henry Lee (1533-1611), Master of the Ordnance. Sitter in 5 portraits.

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This portrait of Lee was probably painted on a visit to Antwerp in June 1568. Lee was accompanied on this trip by Edward, 3rd Baron Windsor, whose portrait by another artist also shows the sitter with his thumb through a ring, a gesture that may relate to bonds of love or friendship. The true-lovers' knots and armillary spheres on Lee's sleeves were personal emblems of the Queen and probably refer to his role as Elizabeth's champion. These patterns were marked out using a transfer technique called pouncing, whereby charcoal dust is shaken through pricked holes to mark out a design. A detailed look at the signature in the lower-right corner reveals the caption 'Antonius mor pingebat ao 1568'.

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