Sir Francis Walsingham
1 portrait by John De Critz the Elder
Sir Francis Walsingham
attributed to John De Critz the Elder
oil on panel, circa 1589
30 in. x 25 in. (762 mm x 635 mm)
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Sitterback to top
- Sir Francis Walsingham (circa 1532-1590), Statesman. Sitter associated with 30 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This is the only known portrait type of Walsingham, and is associated with the artist John de Critz whom he patronised extensively in the 1580s. Despite mounting debts, Walsingham repeatedly entertained Elizabeth I at his home at Barn Elms, near Putney, in the second half of the 1580s, the period from which this portrait dates. It shows Walsingham wearing a cameo of the queen who he served so faithfully and yet who failed to reward him for his loyalty and patriotism.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Bolland, Charlotte; Cooper, Tarnya, The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered, 2014 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12th September 2014 to 1st March 2015), p. 128
- Charles Nicholl, Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, 2015, p. 49
- Cooper, John, A Guide to the National Portrait Gallery, 2009, p. 12
- Nicholl, Charles, Character Sketches: Elizabethan Writers, 1997, p. 18
- Nicholl, Charles, Insights: Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, 2005, p. 41
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 640
- Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 321
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1589back to top
Current affairsSir Francis Drake sets sail from Plymouth in command of over 100 ships and 18,000 men. Ignoring orders to attack Spanish ports in the Bay of Biscay, the fleet embarks on a disastrous invasion of Portugal. After sacking La Coruña, Drake fails to take Lisbon and returns to face accusations of disobedience and cowardice.
King James VI of Scotland (later James I of England) marries Princess Anne of Denmark.
Art and scienceThe geographer Richard Hakluyt publishes Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, a large collection of voyages from the fourth century to contemporary seamen such as Sir Francis Drake.
The satirical pamphleteer Thomas Nashe publishes The Anatomie of Absurdity, a criticism of contemporary literature.