Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury

1 portrait on display in Room 3 at Montacute House

Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury, by Unknown artist, probably 17th century (circa 1590) - NPG 203 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, probably 17th century (circa 1590)
38 7/8 in. x 31 in. (988 mm x 787 mm)
Purchased, 1865
Primary Collection
NPG 203


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Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

'Bess of Hardwick' was one of the wealthiest people in late Elizabethan England, and an important patron of architecture. She acquired her wealth through a succession of four increasingly profitable marriages and through her own business acumen. She is remembered mainly for the house she had built at Hardwick to a plan by the great Elizabethan architect Robert Smythson. She is shown here in mourning dress whose understated nature is set off by the splendid five-strand rope of pearls which she wears. The Elizabethan-style frame which incorporates the sitter's initials at the top was made in 1865 by the Gallery and is likely to be much more elaborate than the original.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Bennett, Sue, Five Centuries of Women and Gardens, 2000 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 October 2000 to 21 January 2001), p. 23
  • MacLeod, Catherine, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection at Montacute House, 1999, p. 23
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 563
  • Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 112
  • Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 287

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top