Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury
Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury
by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, probably 17th century, based on a work of circa 1590
38 7/8 in. x 31 in. (988 mm x 787 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury (circa 1527-1608), Known as 'Bess of Hardwick'; wife of 6th Earl of Shrewsbury. Sitter in 3 portraits.
This portraitback to top
'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 increasingly 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. She is shown here in mourning dress whose understated nature is set off by the splendid five-strand rope of pearls which she wears. The Elizabethan-style frame which incorporates the sitter's initials at the top was made in 1865 by the Gallery and is likely to be much more elaborate than the original.
Linked publicationsback to top
- 100 Pioneering Women, p. 27
- Bennett, Sue, Five Centuries of Women and Gardens, 2000 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 October 2000 to 21 January 2001), p. 23
- MacLeod, Catherine, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection at Montacute House, 1999, p. 23
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 563
- Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 112, 179
- Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 287
Events of 1590back to top
Current affairsKing James VI of Scotland brings his wife Anne of Denmark to Edinburgh for her coronation at Holyrood Abbey.
Death of Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth I's Principal Secretary and spymaster.
The colonial governor John White returns to Roanoke Island (in present day North Carolina, USA) to find the settlement deserted. The lost colonists include his granddaughter Virginia Dare, the first English child to be born in America.
Art and scienceThe courtier, poet and soldier Sir Philip Sidney's pastoral romance Arcadia is published posthumously. It is one of the first English vernacular works to achieve a European readership, with translations into French, German, Dutch and Italian.
The poet and administrator Edmund Spenser publishes the first three books of The Faerie Queene, an epic allegorical poem in praise of Queen Elizabeth I.
InternationalHenry IV of France defeats the Catholic League under Charles, Duke of Mayenne at the Battle of Ivry. The King marches on Paris before being driven back by Catholic forces sent by Philip II of Spain.
Abbas I, Shah of Persia makes peace with the Ottoman Empire, allowing him to campaign agaist the Uzbeks.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi defeats the Hojo clan at the Siege of Odawara, Japan. The victory completes Hideyoshi's military reunification of Japan.
Exhibitions and displays
- 1517: Martin Luther and the English Reformation
Until 2 December
- Searching for Shakespeare
- Brilliant Women
- Popular Prints of Victoria and Albert
- Nelson: before and after Trafalgar
- Making History: Printed Portraiture in Tudor and Stuart Britain
- 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
- 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