While Dudley never ever succeeded in his aim of obtaining Elizabeth’s hand in marriage, he was taken into consideration to be the queen’s only serious English suitor and also often offered portraiture as a method by which to additional his cause. The second portrait of Dudley seen here (ugandan-news.com 447), not only gives a an excellent sense the Dudley’s standing and also sophistication, it additionally lends itself to being hung alongside an additional portrait as a pair, probably a ‘pendant’ portrait of the queen. It has actually been argued that ugandan-news.com 447 deserve to be associated with a visit the Elizabeth made come Dudley’s home at Kenliworth castle in 1575, and also was component of a collection of images commissioned especially for the event.

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Considered side by side, these two portraits have the right to be watched to stand for the two significant motivations for the manufacturing of Dudley’s portrait. Moreover, new technical analysis has done much to more our expertise of how these portraits were made, whereby they initially came from and what castle looked like as soon as they were very first painted.

When were these portraits painted?

What proof is there for underdrawing in the portraits?

What approaches were provided in the painting of these portraits?

When were these portraits painted?

Dendrochronology (tree-ring dating), has displayed that the wood for the panel used in the portrait the Leicester in a red fit (ugandan-news.com 447) was felled at some point between 1568 and 1579, which supports the idea that this painting was produced about the time the Elizabeth I concerned visit Robert Dudley at Kenliworth lock in Warwickshire. The timber is east Baltic oak and also makes increase a three-board panel, which shows up to have been substantially trimmed along the reduced edge. It is therefore feasible that this painting was originally a full-length portrait. It may in reality be the same photo from the Earl the Leicester’s very own collection i beg your pardon was explained as the ‘whole proportion,... In a sute that russet satten and velvet welted’, which might have been cut down at a later day to its current size.

The portrait the Leicester in a white and also gold double (ugandan-news.com 227) is additionally comprised of a three-board panel made from eastern Baltic oak. The available tree-ring data provided a conjectural intake date the 1564-1596 for the panel, which support a day of c.1575-80 for the portrait.

What evidence is there for underdrawing in the portraits?


Infrared reflectogram mosaic the the face (ugandan-news.com 447). Image: Tager Stonor Richardson


Detail showing areas in the confront with exposed the underdrawing (ugandan-news.com 447).


Infrared reflectogram mosaic the the confront (ugandan-news.com 247). Image: Tager Stonor Richardson.

The composition of the portrait of Leicester in red (ugandan-news.com 447) was very first laid out with the usage of underdrawing, applied using a tracing and probably derived from a pre-prepared drawing. When transferred, the tracing can be reinforced or emerged by the artist working freehand in a wet medium. This had actually the benefit of allowing the artist to develop up locations of shadow and detail. Ugandan-news.com 447 displays the use of both traced and freehand underdrawing, which have the right to be seen have the right to be viewed most clearly by utilizing infrared reflectography, and additionally in locations of the confront where the thinning that the flesh paint has more exposed lower layers the the painting’s surface.

In contrast, the portrait that Leicester in white and gold (ugandan-news.com 247) has tiny evidence the underdrawing, regardless of the reality that the paint is plainly produced native a pre-established pattern. Infrared reflectography established one faint, curved line in the eye ~ above the left, which argues that the principal features were drawn, and also then really closely complied with with the paint above, hence obscuring the early stage preparatory drawing

Because underdrawing is often linked with the transport processes supplied in the manufacturing of copies in this period, it might seem strange the there is abundant proof of underdrawing in ugandan-news.com 447 compared to the restricted visible underdrawing in ugandan-news.com 247. However, this seems to be precisely because the artist responsible for paint ugandan-news.com 247 was so dependant on the pattern for establishing the composition. Conversely, if the comprehensive underdrawing in ugandan-news.com 447 could at very first suggest the the ingredient was duplicated from a pre-existing pattern, the freehand underdrawing which to be undertaken ~ the early stage tracing to be made (as checked out in locations of the hands and also Dudley’s ruff) relates that the artist had actually both the confidence and the capacity to fancy upon the preliminary tracing.

What methods were provided in the painting of this portraits?

A comparison of the explicate of costume by these two artists litter the distinctions in their method into sharp relief. In the portrait the Leicester wearing an elaborate yellow and also white doublet spanned in yellow buttons (ugandan-news.com 247), analysis of the surface of the painting has shown that the artist to be remarkably economic in his applications of paint, and also used basic techniques in stimulate to produce shadow and model the features of the sitter. Because that example, in stimulate to create shadow ~ above the hand top top the right-hand side of the doublet, the dark very first layer for the sleeves and fur was extended into the reserve left because that the doublet, before the grey doublet paint was applied. The grey repaint was climate painted end this dark layer.

Shadow produced through the extension of paint into the to make reservation of the doublet

A similar technique was provided for the feather on the hat whereby a thin grey layer was painted ~ above the reserve and also a darker layer used around the sheet of the make reservation to create the shadow part of the feather. The light details were then used over the grey sheet to give depth and modeling.

What is most unusual around the paint of the costume in this portrait that Leicester (ugandan-news.com 247) is the usage of gilding, a an approach that was ending up being increasingly unfashionable throughout the period. The gilding ~ above the left that the double was used over a dark mordant (the fixant) which included a high relationship of black. Over there is no gilding on the yellow lines ~ above the appropriate side of the doublet, which are painted simply with yellow paint over the grey paint, v lead-tin yellow supplied for highlights. However, surface ar examination says that these locations were originally finely gilded, using just the dark yellow repaint as a mordant. The gold clearly did not stick well in this areas, and lead-tin yellow was then used over to create the highlight.



Detail of hose mirroring dark brown/black mordant beneath gilding

When compared to this rather an easy techniques, those work in the painting of the costume the the portrait of Leicester in red (ugandan-news.com 447) appear even much more sophisticated. Throughout, the paint dealing with and method was of a an extremely high quality, with very skilful and also subtle class of opaque and also transparent glazes. The sleeves, doublet and hose were begun with a layer of white or pale pink repaint over the priming layer, which was painted with a vast stiff brush, allowing individual brush point out to continue to be visible ~ above the surface ar to add texture. A slim translucent class of red lake was used over the costume which the artist differed in tone so he might define areas of highlight and also shadow. An additional sophisticated technique was offered to explain the texture of well-off velvet in the hose, where repaint was applied (probably through a brush) and also then blotted off utilizing either a towel or finger in stimulate to eliminate some the the colour native the surface. Unequal the gilding which was offered in ugandan-news.com 247, the yellow stitching in this portrait was described through the usage of lead-tin yellow, i beg your pardon in some locations was combined with red lead to offer a warmer and more gold tone.


As it have the right to be seen, although the two portraits depict the exact same sitter, lock are different in a number of far-reaching ways. The most important distinction is that of quality, because that while ugandan-news.com 447 is a well portrait which displays a variety of innovative painterly techniques, ugandan-news.com 247 is not nearly as accomplished, and also is painted in a straightforward and economical fashion. Together, they aid illustrate the idea that there was a broad selection in the quality of portraiture in this period, and that the demand for Leicester’s photo ensured that there were a number of established patterns in circulation among artists.


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