by Unknown artist
oil on panel, 1599
23 1/2 in. x 18 in. (597 mm x 457 mm)
Given by T.H. Woods, 1888
This portraitback to top
This portrait was re-identifed as Michael Drayton following detailed technical analysis proving the authenticity of the crown of laurel branches. The picture dates from 1599 and the inscribed age at this date matches Drayton's own. Following the death of the poet Edmund Spenser in 1599, Drayton was one of the main contenders for the unofficial role of Poet Laureate.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Charles Nicholl, Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, 2015, p. 81
- Cooper, Tarnya, Searching for Shakespeare, 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 2 March - 29 May 2006), p. 178
- Cooper, Tarnya, Searching for Shakespeare (hardback), 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 2 March - 29 May 2006), p. 178
- Cooper, Tarnya (introduction) Banville, John (character sketch) Chevalier, Tracy (character sketch) Fellowes, Julian (character sketch) McCall Smith, Alexander (character sketch) Pratchett, Terry (character sketch) Singleton, Sarah (character sketch) Trollope, Joanna (character sketch) Waters, Minette (character sketch), Imagined Lives: Portraits of Unknown People, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from December 2011 - June 2012), p. 89
- Nicholl, Charles, Character Sketches: Elizabethan Writers, 1997, p. 36
- Nicholl, Charles, Insights: Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, 2005, p. 64
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 688
- Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 72
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- His Picture in Little: Shakespeare, Hamlet and Tacita Dean (15 March 2018 - 28 May 2018)
- Shakespeare and his Circle (4 October 2008 - 1 June 2009)
- Searching for Shakespeare (2 March 2006 - 29 M
Events of 1599back to top
Current affairsRobert Devereux, Earl of Essex's campaign in Ireland is unsuccessful. He signs a truce with the leader of the rebellion Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone and returns to England without royal permission. He is placed under house arrest on his return to court.
King James VI of Scotland (future James I of England) writes Basilikon Doron ('The Royal Gift'), which asserts his theory of the divine right of kings.
Art and scienceThe Globe Theatre is built in London.
William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is performed for the first time.
Death of the poet and administrator Edmund Spenser, author of The Faerie Queene.
Birth of the painter Anthony van Dyck in Antwerp (in present-day Belgium).
InternationalMichael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia, deposes Andrew Báthory, Prince of Transylvania.
Akbar, Mughal Emperor of India, leads a campaign of conquest into southern India.
See this portrait
On display in Room 16 at the National Portrait Gallery
Exhibitions and displays
- Life, Death and Memory
Until 4 February 2018
- Portrait of the Day: Henry VIII & Katherine of Aragon
17 December, 12:30
Tell us more
Help us conserve a portrait of a female adventurer, poet and medical pioneer