Sir Francis Walsingham
1 portrait on display in Room 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
Sir Francis Walsingham
possibly after John De Critz the Elder
oil on panel, 16th century, based on a work of circa 1587
14 3/4 in. x 11 3/4 in. (375 mm x 298 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 portrait is a reversed version of the only known portrait type of Walsingham, which is associated with the artist John de Critz the Elder, who received extensive patronage from Walsingham in the 1580s. Although Walsingham, or the individual who commissioned this portrait, would probably have been unaware of it, technical analysis has shown that this panel has been reused. Investigations have revealed the fascinating juxtaposition of a portrait of the Protestant spymaster superimposed over a small devotional image of the Virgin and Child. In x-ray two figures can be seen beneath the portrait, one figure is likely to be the Virgin Mary, possibly with the infant Christ in her lap; the second figure could be St. Joseph or an angel.
Linked publicationsback to top
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Hidden: Unseen paintings beneath Tudor Portraits (3 January 2013 - 2 June 2013)
Events of 1587back to top
Current affairsExecution of Mary, Queen of Scots for conspiring to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I. Elizabeth signs the death warrant of her cousin with considerable misgivings.
Queen Elizabeth I forces Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester to resign his post as Governor-General of the Netherlands.
Sir Francis Drake sacks the Spanish port Cadiz thereby forcing Philip II of Spain to postpone his planned invasion of England by a year.
Art and scienceFirst performance of Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great.
The property developer Philip Henslowe builds the Rose Theatre in Southwark, London.
The Protestant reformer John Knox's History of the Reformation in Scotland is published posthumously.
InternationalBirth of Virginia Dare, the first English child to be born in America. She is granddaughter to John White, the governor of the second colony to be established on Roanoke Island (in present-day North Carolina, USA).
Pope Sixtus V calls for a Catholic crusade against England to depose the Protestant Queen Elizabeth.