A Portrait of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1565-1601), after Isaac Oliver (1565-1617).

Oil on panel, in a painted oval, 67.3cm by 52cm.

Essex was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I for many years, but fell from grace due to his impetuous behaviour and his command of several military and naval disasters.

In 1601, he foolishly attempted an ill-planned rebellion against the Queen, which failed and for which he was tried for treason and executed.

According to the Mss list of Brownlow, 9th Earl of Exeter (1725-1793) the painting was bought from one of Essex’s descendants.

Written on the back is: ‘A capital picture by (Zuchero – scratched out) of the favorite Earl of Essex. Perhaps the finest of the famous man now in being.’

The original portrait by Isaac Oliver is in the National Portrait Gallery, London.


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