King Richard III

1 portrait

King Richard III, by Unknown artist, late 16th century - NPG 148 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

King Richard III

by Unknown artist
oil on panel, late 16th century
25 1/8 in. x 18 1/2 in. (638 mm x 470 mm)
Given by James Thomson Gibson-Craig, 1862
Primary Collection
NPG 148

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Sitterback to top

  • King Richard III (1452-1485), Reigned 1483-85. Sitter associated with 25 portraits.

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

This portrait, in which he appears to be placing a ring on the little finger of his right hand, has been seen by some as evidence of his cruel nature and by others as evidence of his humanity. Tree-ring dating has indicated that it dates from the late sixteenth century and it would have been created and displayed as part of a historical narrative of English monarchy. However, portraits of Richard were almost certainly made in his lifetime and this portrait uses the pattern from an original likeness.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D23064: King Richard III (based on same portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1570back to top

Current affairs

Pope Pius V issues a Papal 'bull' excommunicating Queen Elizabeth I from the Catholic Church. The bull provokes widespread anti-Catholicism in England. Elizabeth contemplates marriage with either Charles, Archduke of Austria or Henri, Duke of Anjou.

Art and science

Publication of The Scholemaster by the royal tutor Roger Ascham, which popularises the educational views of the English nobility. The mathematician and antiquary John Dee's preface to the first English translation of Euclid's Elements of Geometrie anticipates the experimental science of the seventeenth century. The Italian architect Andrea Palladio published I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura (The Four Books of Architecture).


Treaty of St Germain-en-Laye ends the Third War of Religion in France. Huguenots (French Protestants) are granted religious freedom and the Huguenot leader Admiral Gaspard de Coligny becomes a dominant force at court. The Treaty of Stettin - Denmark agrees to recognise the independence of Sweden and Sweden abandons its claim to Norway. Ivan IV (the Terrible), Tsar of Russia, oversees the Massacre of Novgorod.

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