Unknown Artist, Called Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex (1591–1646)

Photo courtesy of Tom St Aubyn (All rights reserved)


Country House
Raynham Hall
Called Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex (1591–1646)
The Music Room
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 59 cm, Overall width: 46 cm
Unknown Artist
Catalogue Number


The sitter has been identified in the past as Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, whose father, Robert Devereux, the 2nd Earl, was executed in 1601, following a rebellion against Elizabeth I. It is also possible that the sitter is a member of the Townshend family, possibly even Sir Roger Townshend (c.1596–1637), who would have been about twelve when this portrait was made. There are aspects of the handling of the flesh that are reminiscent of the work of Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger but the painting of the costume is not of the quality that his documented paintings show. This picture looks as though it may have been cut down from a larger format and there is what appears to be discoloured retouching to the left of the sitter’s head which may be covering an inscription.

by Edward Town


Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, Portraits in Norfolk Houses, ed. Rev. Edmund Farrer, vol. 2, Norwich : Jarrold and Sons, 1928, vol. 2, p. 225, no. 8 [‘ROBERT DEVEREUS, 3RD EARL OF ESSEX, K.G.’]

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