Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Recommended Article on Zuccaro's Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I and The Earl of Leicester

The ruins of "Leicester's Building" at Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire. Photo shared for public use courtesy of Lara E. Eakins.

Christine Hartweg, the author of one of my favorite blogs, All Things Robert Dudley, has put together a wonderful piece on the companion portraits commissioned by Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester in 1575 of himself and Queen Elizabeth I. 

Leicester hired the Italian artist Zuccaro to paint from life two full-length portraits as part of his last, and most elaborate attempt to get the Queen to marry him. Unfortunately for posterity, only the rough chalk sketches of these magnificent portraits survive, residing in the collection of the British Museum, London.

A sketch of Queen Elizabeth I of England, drawn from life by Zuccaro in 1575. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.
A sketch of Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, drawn from life by Zuccaro in 1575. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

Ms. Hartweg has included wonderful details in her article, especially concerning the armor worn by Leicester in the sketches, and the fan held by the Queen, which was possibly a gift from Leicester himself. You can read her article, " Milord Lestre Favorito: The Zuccaro Drawings, 1575" HERE.


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