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Dudley, the 3rd Baron North

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1615 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Sidney F. Sabin

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case 7, shelf WS []

Object Type
Oil painted portraits of noble or wealthy men and women became increasingly common in the 17th century. Important as it was to dress magnificently, it was also essential to be portrayed in one's finery. The portraits nearly always show the sitters splendidly dressed in the height of expensive fashion, in order to emphasise their status.

Dudley North (1581-1666) was one of the principal courtiers of James I. His family was linked by marriage with the Dudley family that had been so powerful at the Tudor court. Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was a favourite of Elizabeth I and Dudley North's grandfather married the widow of his brother, Sir Henry Dudley.

Dudley North became one of the most conspicuous figures of the Jacobean court. He was a musician and poet, and an enthusiastic participant in court entertainments, especially the tilts and masques. In 1606, while recovering from ill health in Kent, he discovered the medicinal value of the springs at Tunbridge Wells. He also publicised the virtues of the waters of Epsom in Surrey. He passed his later years quietly in the country at Kirtling Hall, the family home in Kirtling, Cambridgeshire. In 1645 collected his essays, letters and poems in a volume titled A Forest of Varieties.

Physical description

Oil on canvas depicting Dudley, the 3rd Baron North, posing before a theatrical curtain in an ornately embroidered black Tudor outfit, accompanied a white ruff at the neck, lace cuffs, and stylised silver footwear.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)


ca. 1615 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas


Weight: 25 kg

Descriptive line

Anonymous oil on canvas depicting Dudley, the 3rd Baron North (1582-1666). British School, ca. 1615

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Dudley North (1581-1666) was a leading figure at the court of James I. His self-confident pose is emphasised by the richness of his costume. Although Lord North would have posed for the head to be painted, it was common for clothes to be painted later. [27/03/2003]


Oil; Canvas



Subjects depicted

Portrait; Tudor; Men's dress; Ruff; Fashion; Baron; Footwear; Shoes


Paintings; Portraits; British Galleries


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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