by Unknown artist
line engraving, 17th century
11 3/8 in. x 8 1/8 in. (288 mm x 206 mm) paper size
Given by Henry Witte Martin, 1861
Sitterback to top
- René Descartes (1596-1650), French philosopher and mathematician. Sitter in 10 portraits.
Events of 1601back to top
Current affairsRobert Devereux, Earl of Essex marches on the City but the rebellion fails. He is proclaimed a traitor and executed.
A Spanish fleet lands in Ireland to assist the Catholic rebellion. Lord Mountjoy leads the English army to victory over the Irish and Spanish force at the Battle of Kinsale.
Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury begins secret negotiations with James VI of Scotland to secure a peaceful handover of power after the Queen's death.
Art and scienceWilliam Shakespeare writes Twelfth Night.
The poet and clergyman John Donne begins The Progress of the Soul, an unfinished satire on the soul of the apple eaten by Eve.
The Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Edward Phelips builds Montacute House, Somerset.
Sir James Lancaster leads the first trading venture of the East India Company to acquire spices from Sumatra.
InternationalSpanish Hapsburg forces lay siege of the United Provinces port of Ostend. The town surrenders in 1604 after one of the longest sieges in history and bloodiest battles of the Eighty Years' War, during which the Protestant United Provinces of the northern Netherlands fought for independence from Spain.
Tokugawa Ieyasu, ruler of Japan, makes his capital at Yedo (present-day Tokyo).
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.
- Silhouettes display, 2004-05
- Return to Life: A New Look at the Portrait Bust
- 2019 Anniversaries
- William Hazlitt's Spirit of the Age
- Making History: Printed Portraiture in Tudor and Stuart Britain
- Mary, Queen of Scots: Fact and Fiction
- Restoration Lives: Samuel Pepys and His Circle
- Brilliant Women
- Chartist Portraits
- Mary, Queen of Scots
- Nelson: before and after Trafalgar
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Art Conservation Project
- Rebel women
- Theodore de Mayerne
- Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs
- Popular Prints of Victoria and Albert
- Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
- Searching for Shakespeare
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.