The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Search the Collection

Bess of Hardwick

(circa 1527-1608), Noblewoman; wife of 6th Earl of Shrewsbury

Elizabeth ('Bess') Talbot (née Hardwick), Countess of Shrewsbury

Sitter associated with 3 portraits
'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 progressively more 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 (c.1535-1614).

More on Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury: Tudor & Jacobean Portraits book in our Shops

Tell us More

 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close

List Thumbnail

Bess of Hardwick, by Unknown artist - NPG 203

Bess of Hardwick

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, probably 17th century, based on a work of circa 1590
NPG 203

Unknown woman, engraved as Bess of Hardwick, by George Vertue, after  Cornelius Johnson (Cornelius Janssen van Ceulen) - NPG D28087

Unknown woman, engraved as Bess of Hardwick

by George Vertue, after Cornelius Johnson (Cornelius Janssen van Ceulen)
line engraving, early 18th century
NPG D28087

Bess of Hardwick, after Unknown artist - NPG D41911

Bess of Hardwick

after Unknown artist
colour photogravure, published 1902 (circa 1590)
NPG D41911

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.



Gallery blog

Read our latest news and have your say.

Join the conversation

Tell us More about our silhouettes, photograph of Hubert Leslie, Silhouettist

Identify our Silhouettes

Join enthusiastic contributors who have already identified 155 sitters.

Help transcribe signatures

Tell us More about our Silvy sitters, photograph of Camille Silvy, photographer with boy

Tell us more about our Silvy sitters

Help us identify the sitters who visited Camille Silvy’s photographic studio during the 1860s.

Identify our sitters