A full-length portrait slightly to right of Villiers. He wears three-quarter armour with a multicoloured baldric over his right shoulder by which also rests a plumed close helmet. A ‘favour’ is tied round his left rerebrace or upper arm plate armour. Over his left shoulder he has a blue sash with the Little George. On the right, behind a balustrade is a shoreline with the fleet beyond, taken from the painting by H. C. Vroom showing the return of Prince Charles from Spain. This probably implies the portrait was painted specifically for Buckingham. He was also known to be a great collector of works of art.
Buckingham was the favourite of James I and a close friend and adviser to Charles I. In 1619 he succeeded the Earl of Nottingham as Lord High Admiral and brought about improved conditions in the navy. However, his impetuousness at home and abroad widened the rift between the King and Parliament. While at Portsmouth preparing for a second attempt to relieve the besieged Huguenots at La Rochelle, Buckingham was murdered by a disaffected naval officer.
Where to see this painting?
National Maritime Museum
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