King Richard II
3 of 34 portraits of King Richard II
King Richard II
by Unknown artist
oil on panel, 1597-1618
22 3/4 in. x 17 5/8 in. (578 mm x 449 mm) uneven
This portraitback to top
This portrait of Richard II is based on a full-length painting of the king at Westminster Abbey that is thought to have been painted in the 1390s while Richard was still alive. It resembles other images of Richard including his tomb effigy which he commissioned to be a 'counterfeit' of him. It is likely, therefore, that this portrait of Richard is one of the first true likenesses of an English king.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Smartify image discovery app
- Bolland, Charlotte, Tudor & Jacobean Portraits, 2018, p. 9
- Cannadine, Sir David (Introduction); Cooper, Tarnya; Stewart, Louise; MacGibbon, Rab; Cox, Paul; Peltz, Lucy; Moorhouse, Paul; Broadley, Rosie; Jascot-Gill, Sabina, Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits, 2018 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA, 7 October 2018 -3 February 2019. Bendigo Art Gallery, Australia, 16 March - 14 July 2019.), p. 38
- Cooper, Tarnya, Elizabeth I & Her People, 2013 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 10 October 2013 - 5 January 2014), p. 13
- Cooper, Tarnya; Fraser, Antonia (foreword), A Guide to Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 2012, p. 26 Read entry
These portraits of monarchs from William the Conqueror to Mary I presented a remarkable display of visual history and continuity. This set used to hang at Hornby Castle in Yorkshire and may have been commissioned for a long gallery. While some of the portraits were based on existing images, such as Richard III, they were frequently based on imaginary sources popularised by books on the history of Britain printed in the late 1500s and early 1600s.
Although these sets were probably quite popular at the time, only a few survive intact today. Examples can be seen at Montacute House and Hardwick Hall.
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 520
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Picturing History: A portrait set of early kings and queens (19 July 2011 - 4 December 2011)
Portrait setback to top
Events of 1597back to top
Current affairsPhilip II of Spain launches another armada against England. As in 1588, the fleet is dispersed by a storm, which is celebrated as divine intervention.
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex is made Earl Marshall.
Charles Howard, Baron Howard of Effingham is created Earl of Nottingham.
King James VI of Scotland (later James I of England) publishes Daemonologie, an attack on witchcraft that incites a fever for witch-hunts.
Art and scienceWilliam Shakespeare writes The Merchant of Venice.
The musician John Dowland publishes The First Booke of Songes or Ayres, the most successful music publication of the period.
InternationalPhilip II of Spain opens peace negotiations with Henry IV of France after his army in the Spanish Netherlands fails to defeat the forces of France or the Protestant United Provinces of the northern Netherlands.
The Japanese ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi launches a second invasion of Korea.
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