King Richard III
King Richard III
by Unknown artist
oil on panel, late 16th century
25 1/8 in. x 18 1/2 in. (638 mm x 470 mm)
Given by James Thomson Gibson-Craig, 1862
Sitterback to top
- King Richard III (1452-1485), Reigned 1483-85. Sitter associated with 26 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait, in which he appears to be placing a ring on the little finger of his right hand, has been seen by some as evidence of his cruel nature and by others as evidence of his humanity. Tree-ring dating has indicated that it dates from the late sixteenth century and it would have been created and displayed as part of a historical narrative of English monarchy. However, portraits of Richard were almost certainly made in his lifetime and this portrait probably uses the pattern from an original likeness.
Related worksback to top
Linked publicationsback to top
- Tudor Portraits Resource Pack, p. 5
- 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. 12
- Cooper, John, Visitor's Guide, 2000, p. 11
- Gittings, Clare, The National Portrait Gallery Book of The Tudors, 2006, p. 2
- John Cooper, National Portrait Gallery Visitor's Guide, 2006, p. 11
- MacLeod, Catharine, Tudor Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1996, p. 5
- Parris, Matthew, Heroes and Villains: Scarfe at the National Portrait Gallery, 2003 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 30 September 2003 to 4 April 2004), p. 113
- Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 25
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 31
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 30
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 520
- Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 263
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 30
- Williamson, David, Kings and Queens, 2010, p. 79
- Williamson, David, The National Portrait Gallery: History of the Kings and Queens of England, 1998, p. 80
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1570back to top
Current affairsPope Pius V issues a Papal 'bull' excommunicating Queen Elizabeth I from the Catholic Church. The bull provokes widespread anti-Catholicism in England.
Elizabeth contemplates marriage with either Charles, Archduke of Austria or Henri, Duke of Anjou.
Art and sciencePublication of The Scholemaster by the royal tutor Roger Ascham, which popularises the educational views of the English nobility.
The mathematician and antiquary John Dee's preface to the first English translation of Euclid's Elements of Geometrie anticipates the experimental science of the seventeenth century.
The Italian architect Andrea Palladio published I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura (The Four Books of Architecture).
InternationalTreaty of St Germain-en-Laye ends the Third War of Religion in France. Huguenots (French Protestants) are granted religious freedom and the Huguenot leader Admiral Gaspard de Coligny becomes a dominant force at court.
The Treaty of Stettin - Denmark agrees to recognise the independence of Sweden and Sweden abandons its claim to Norway.
Ivan IV (the Terrible), Tsar of Russia, oversees the Massacre of Novgorod.
See this portrait
On display in Room 1 at the National Portrait Gallery
Exhibitions and displays
- 1517: Martin Luther and the English Reformation
Until 2 December
- Making History: Printed Portraiture in Tudor and Stuart Britain
- Picturing History: A portrait set of early English kings and queens
- Kings and Queens: A Family tree
- landing banner
- Searching for Shakespeare
- Brilliant Women
- Popular Prints of Victoria and Albert
- Nelson: before and after Trafalgar
- Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
- Chartist Portraits
- Silhouettes display, 2004-05
- William Hazlitt's Spirit of the Age
- Return to Life: A New Look at the Portrait Bust
- Restoration Lives: Samuel Pepys and His Circle
- Theodore de Mayerne
- Mary, Queen of Scots: Fact and Fiction
- Mary, Queen of Scots
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Art Conservation Project
- Rebel women
- Duplicate of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Art Conservation Project
- Shakespeare quiz
- Portrait of the Day: Richard III
25 September, 12:30
- Portrait of the Day: Angela Burdett-Coutts
27 September, 12:30
- Lunchtime Lecture: Shakespeare and the Resistance
1 November, 13:15
- Lunchtime Lecture: Society of Portrait Sculptors Annual Lecture: Laurence Edwards
15 November, 13:15