Sir Walter Ralegh

1 portrait by Nicholas Hilliard

Sir Walter Ralegh, by Nicholas Hilliard, circa 1585 - NPG 4106 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Walter Ralegh

by Nicholas Hilliard
watercolour on vellum, circa 1585
1 7/8 in. x 1 5/8 in. (48 mm x 41 mm) oval
Purchased with help from The Art Fund and the Pilgrim Trust, 1959
Primary Collection
NPG 4106

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Sitterback to top

  • Sir Walter Ralegh (1554-1618), Soldier, sailor, poet and writer. Sitter in 48 portraits.

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  • Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619), Miniature painter. Artist associated with 34 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This appears to be the earliest portrait of Walter Ralegh, painted around the time he received his patent to colonize America. Tall, dark-haired and pale, Ralegh is fashionably dressed with a wide ruff that was popular in the 1580s and early 1590s.

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