Philip II, King of Spain

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

Philip II, King of Spain, by Unknown artist, circa 1580 - NPG 347 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Philip II, King of Spain

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, circa 1580
72 1/2 in. x 41 in. (1842 mm x 1041 mm)
Purchased, 1872
Primary Collection
NPG 347


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Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Philip is shown in a remarkable suit of gilt-etched armour.

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1580back to top

Current affairs

Sir Francis Drake completes his three-year circumnavigation of the globe and returns to England in triumph. Spanish and Italian soldiers land in Ireland to assist the Irish Catholic rebellion against English Protestant rule. Surrendering after the siege of Smerwick, the entire force is massacred under orders from the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Baron Grey of Wilton. England signs an advantageous trade treaty with the Ottoman Empire.

Art and science

The French scholar and nobleman Michel de Montaigne publishes Essais (Essays), an influential development of the essay as a literary form. Robert Smythson is employed by Sir Francis Willoughby as architect of Wollaton Hall, Nottingham, completed in 1588. It is one of the masterpieces of Elizabethan architecture.

International

Philip II of Spain invades Portugal and is proclaimed King. His conquest unites the vast colonial empires of Spain and Portugal. The heir to the French crown, François, Duke of Anjou is invited become the sovereign of the Netherlands by William of Orange, leader of the Dutch rebellion against Phillip II of Spain.

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