Sir Walter Raleigh
Original Author: Unknown
Created: ca. 1590
Medium: Oil on canvas
Publisher: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh, English soldier, poet, explorer, and courtier, wears silver-colored armor, richly brocaded short trunks studded with pearls, and holds a truncheon in one hand, a symbol of his authority. To the right is a helmet with five large jeweled feathers. He stands before a tent opening that displays his coat of arms. This painting, by an unidentified artist, was probably made around 1590. His opulent manner of dress indicates his good standing with Queen Elizabeth I; he would fall from grace, however, after the monarch discovered that he had secretly married one of her ladies-in-waiting in 1591.