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Anthony or Essex?


Eric Roberts

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Is this the same person?

image.jpeg.d6103a019804086b9742529e8f57dd49.jpegimage.jpeg.3e5c0f2571a2581c9160bd9e804b3383.jpeg

 

On the left is an authentic portrait of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, Francis Bacon’s biological brother, painted by Marcus Gheeraerts sometime in the late-1500s. On the right is a portrait by Nicholas Hilliard painted in 1594. This picture resides at Gorhambury House. Until today I had never seen this three-quarter length portrait, but I immediately recognized the face of Anthony Bacon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Bacon_(1558–1601)

image.jpeg.103f7ec56c1e353d5f72e4eda46679a8.jpegimage.png.20801761932a61bc3224815c6cbf9af0.pngimage.png.b60aebc0e7e28d2873808c9b0f7c31d8.png

https://www.facebook.com/Francis.Bacon.Research.Trust/posts/pfbid02KFoXhGky9nFCTivohdys7BMr3f2vx66TVMFv4tZsgNG21Q8DnkcAbX26Wyt59iful

 

The link above to the FBRT Facebook pages raises another equally challenging art history puzzle. The portrait below of Elizabeth by Nicholas Hilliard was a gift to Sir Nicholas Bacon as thanks for his hospitality during one of her visits to Gorhambury where, as far as we know, the picture still resides today. 

Queen Elizabeth visited Sir Nicholas (at Gorhambury) in 1572 and again in 1577, 'coming thither on Saturday, 18 May, before supper, and continuing till Wednesday after dinner following.' A list of all the expenses incurred during the visit, including a cup presented to the queen, amounting to £577 6s. 7d., is preserved.  The queen in return for this entertainment gave Sir Nicholas her portrait painted by Hilliard, which still remains at Gorhambury.

https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/herts/vol2/pp392-405#anchorn46

 

image.jpeg.46afc59b33d2cb576168129fad3b8fdc.jpegimage.jpeg.a8d15db3e37c5238644647118ab14367.jpeg

Both Hilliard paintings appear to have remained at Gorhambury for their entire existence. What is odd – as Peter Dawkins and others have pointed out - is the fact that both subjects are wearing clothes made of identical fabric.  

https://www.facebook.com/Francis.Bacon.Research.Trust/photos/portrait-of-queen-elizabeth-i-attributed-to-nicholas-hilliard-gorhambury-collect/1131136830265421/

Would Anthony have worn a sword, even ceremonially? And would he have dressed so ostentatiously in gold embroidered trousers, even in a portrait for posterity? But if it is Francis Bacon’s other, biological brother, Robert Devereux, then Nicholas Hilliard’s painting barely resembles any of the many famous portraits of the Earl. Whether it is of Anthony or Robert, that both pictures belong to Gorhambury House; that Elizabeth gave her Hilliard portrait to Nicholas Bacon; and that both subjects are wearing the same cloth, suggest a close connection between the two sitters. Any thoughts on the identity of the man in the painting?

 

 

image.png

Edited by Eric Roberts
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The two look different to me. The Gheeraerts portrait the eyes appear closer together and the face longer with fuller lips.

I vote for Anthony Bacon. Interesting the cloth is the same as Elizabeth's, and he is wearing a cloak.

 1 cloak /ˈkloʊk/ noun
plural cloaks
Britannica Dictionary definition of CLOAK
1
[count] : a piece of clothing that is used as a coat, that has no sleeves, and that is worn over the shoulders and attached at the neck
2
[singular] : a thing that hides or covers someone or something

    The soldiers began their attack under (the) cloak of darkness.
    Their plans were shrouded in a cloak of secrecy.

2 cloak /ˈkloʊk/ verb
cloaks; cloaked; cloaking
Britannica Dictionary definition of CLOAK
[+ object] literary
1
: to cover (someone or something) — usually used as (be) cloaked

    a field cloaked in snow

2
: to hide or disguise (something) — usually used as (be) cloaked

    His caring personality was cloaked [=hidden, concealed] by shyness.

— usually + in

    The plans were cloaked [=shrouded] in secrecy.
    a company cloaked in mystery

— cloaked adjective

    A cloaked figure [=a person wearing a cloak] entered the room.

 

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1 hour ago, Eric Roberts said:

Until today I had never seen this three-quarter length portrait, but I immediately recognized the face of Anthony Bacon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Bacon_(1558–1601)

Is this the only image of Anthony Bacon available??

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4 hours ago, Light-of-Truth said:

So the only image of Anthony that we know may be of Dudley?

UGH

I guess that would make Anthony the best spy to ever live...

 

Hi Light-of-Truth

"Golden Lads" by Daphne du Maurier has the cropped portrait of Anthony/Essex on its cover. Inside is a black and white reproduction of the same image, but with the attribution: "Anthony Bacon (?) attributed to Nicholas Hilliard". So it seems that even with her team of researchers, she couldn't definitively identify the portrait as being of Anthony. 

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1 minute ago, Eric Roberts said:

Hi Light-of-Truth

"Golden Lads" by Daphne du Maurier has the cropped portrait of Anthony/Essex on its cover. Inside is a black and white reproduction of the same image, but with the attribution: "Anthony Bacon (?) attributed to Nicholas Hilliard". So it seems that even with her team of researchers, she couldn't definitively identify the portrait as being of Anthony. 

Anthony wore a cloak, even if it was not a garment. 😉

 

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1 hour ago, Eric Roberts said:

Hi Light-of-Truth

"Golden Lads" by Daphne du Maurier has the cropped portrait of Anthony/Essex on its cover. Inside is a black and white reproduction of the same image, but with the attribution: "Anthony Bacon (?) attributed to Nicholas Hilliard". So it seems that even with her team of researchers, she couldn't definitively identify the portrait as being of Anthony. 

image.png.e11f5a444bd65e380a1441d0dd4fef46.png

Bridgeman Images have this uncropped image of the painting which shows the date in top right corner.

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6 minutes ago, Eric Roberts said:

Bridgeman Images have this uncropped image of the painting which shows the date in top right corner.

Do you think this was done by the original artist? Sometimes those dates are added later, I think I heard.

This image his beard is more red like Dudley's. Yea, a sword.

I can almost make out some letters in his outfit.

We may never know what Anthony Bacon looked like if this is not him.

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4 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

image.png.e11f5a444bd65e380a1441d0dd4fef46.png

Bridgeman Images have this uncropped image of the painting which shows the date in top right corner.

Imagine Johnny Depp turning up at the Oscars dressed like this...! Whichever "brother" of Francis Bacon this is a painting of, they had not only amazing tailors, but a very sophisticated fashion designer to boot.

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4 hours ago, Light-of-Truth said:

Do you think this was done by the original artist? Sometimes those dates are added later, I think I heard.

This image his beard is more red like Dudley's. Yea, a sword.

I can almost make out some letters in his outfit.

We may never know what Anthony Bacon looked like if this is not him.

Crazy to think that not even an artist's sketch of him has survived...

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12 minutes ago, Eric Roberts said:

Crazy to think that not even an artist's sketch of him has survived...

P.S. I forgot to mention the Pelican jewel on Q.E.I's right sleeve.

Francis Bacon Research Trust https://www.facebook.com/Francis.Bacon.Research.Trust/posts/pfbid0FiALn78cJYrXR8XfX4hjXcNo5XmjHSyWf6ojLWZPexAMGSuEjcy9i3urUCtDX1L5l

Queen Elizabeth's jewel is the Pelican, emblem of motherly love. It is not the phoenix. The phoenix rises from a fiery pyre and has its head stretching upwards. The pelican is feeding her young from her own breast and has her head bowed down. http://www.elizabethfiles.com/the-elizabeth-i.../3940/

This could explain why Elizabeth insisted on giving this particular portrait of herself to Lord and Lady Bacon. Perhaps by displaying the symbol of the pelican so prominently she was secretly declaring her love and sacrifice for her two young children. The portrait probably dates from the 1570s.

 

 image.jpeg.ca2588e59b82b4424d8b76448063a136.jpeg      image.png.1a43d4fe3fdc03f02641b4f5432d60fe.png

 

 

 

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Hi Eric,

Think you're spot on about the symbolism and reason for Elizabeth giving the Bacon's this portrait. The pelican is also associated with Freemasonry.
'The pelican feeding her young with her blood is a prominent symbol of the Eighteenth or Rose Croix Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and was adopted as such from the fact that the pelican, in ancient Christian art, was considered as an emblem of the Savior.' Masonic Encyclopedia

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On 3/22/2023 at 10:47 PM, Eric Roberts said:

 

Is this the same person?

image.jpeg.d6103a019804086b9742529e8f57dd49.jpegimage.jpeg.3e5c0f2571a2581c9160bd9e804b3383.jpeg

 

On the left is an authentic portrait of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, Francis Bacon’s biological brother, painted by Marcus Gheeraerts sometime in the late-1500s. On the right is a portrait by Nicholas Hilliard painted in 1594. This picture resides at Gorhambury House. Until today I had never seen this three-quarter length portrait, but I immediately recognized the face of Anthony Bacon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Bacon_(1558–1601)

image.jpeg.103f7ec56c1e353d5f72e4eda46679a8.jpegimage.png.20801761932a61bc3224815c6cbf9af0.pngimage.png.b60aebc0e7e28d2873808c9b0f7c31d8.png

https://www.facebook.com/Francis.Bacon.Research.Trust/posts/pfbid02KFoXhGky9nFCTivohdys7BMr3f2vx66TVMFv4tZsgNG21Q8DnkcAbX26Wyt59iful

 

The link above to the FBRT Facebook pages raises another equally challenging art history puzzle. The portrait below of Elizabeth by Nicholas Hilliard was a gift to Sir Nicholas Bacon as thanks for his hospitality during one of her visits to Gorhambury where, as far as we know, the picture still resides today. 

Queen Elizabeth visited Sir Nicholas (at Gorhambury) in 1572 and again in 1577, 'coming thither on Saturday, 18 May, before supper, and continuing till Wednesday after dinner following.' A list of all the expenses incurred during the visit, including a cup presented to the queen, amounting to £577 6s. 7d., is preserved.  The queen in return for this entertainment gave Sir Nicholas her portrait painted by Hilliard, which still remains at Gorhambury.

https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/herts/vol2/pp392-405#anchorn46

 

image.jpeg.46afc59b33d2cb576168129fad3b8fdc.jpegimage.jpeg.a8d15db3e37c5238644647118ab14367.jpeg

Both Hilliard paintings appear to have remained at Gorhambury for their entire existence. What is odd – as Peter Dawkins and others have pointed out - is the fact that both subjects are wearing clothes made of identical fabric.  

https://www.facebook.com/Francis.Bacon.Research.Trust/photos/portrait-of-queen-elizabeth-i-attributed-to-nicholas-hilliard-gorhambury-collect/1131136830265421/

Would Anthony have worn a sword, even ceremonially? And would he have dressed so ostentatiously in gold embroidered trousers, even in a portrait for posterity? But if it is Francis Bacon’s other, biological brother, Robert Devereux, then Nicholas Hilliard’s painting barely resembles any of the many famous portraits of the Earl. Whether it is of Anthony or Robert, that both pictures belong to Gorhambury House; that Elizabeth gave her Hilliard portrait to Nicholas Bacon; and that both subjects are wearing the same cloth, suggest a close connection between the two sitters. Any thoughts on the identity of the man in the painting?

 

 

image.png

 

Regarding the identity of the sitter in the portrait of a nobleman by Hilliard c. 1594 which is in the Gorhambury collection, evidence that it is of Robert Devereux has come to light. 

The history of Gorhambury / by Charlotte Grimston.
[London : Privately printed, 1821]

https://hdl.handle.net/2027/yale.39002034558461

The author provides a catalogue of paintings at Gorhambury House. Among the extensive art collection are the two portraits of Sir Francis Bacon by Van Somer, the portrait of Elizabeth wearing the pelican broach and a portrait by Hilliard of Robert Devereux. No mention of a portrait of Anthony Bacon. Grimston is also unequivocal that the terra cotta bust of a young boy in the library is of Francis, not Anthony as some suggest.

image.png.09fe199ad5c8807df4450d313bb21cb4.png

image.png.3e4190465bb04f55089e6f690e45adc4.png

image.png.5b800fe40a298db382535d56ea5c7bdd.png

 

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1 minute ago, Eric Roberts said:

 

Regarding the identity of the sitter in the portrait of a nobleman by Hilliard c. 1594 which is in the Gorhambury collection, evidence that it is of Robert Devereux has come to light. 

The history of Gorhambury / by Charlotte Grimston.
[London : Privately printed, 1821]

https://hdl.handle.net/2027/yale.39002034558461

The author provides a catalogue of paintings at Gorhambury House. Among the extensive art collection are the two portraits of Sir Francis Bacon by Van Somer, the portrait of Elizabeth wearing the pelican broach and a portrait by Hilliard of Robert Devereux. No mention of a portrait of Anthony Bacon. Grimston is also unequivocal that the terra cotta bust of a young boy in the library is of Francis, not Anthony as some suggest.

image.png.09fe199ad5c8807df4450d313bb21cb4.png

image.png.3e4190465bb04f55089e6f690e45adc4.png

image.png.5b800fe40a298db382535d56ea5c7bdd.png

 

It is odd, is it not, that the portrait of Queen Elizabeth which Charlotte Grimston dates to 1570, and the portrait of Robert Devereux (1594), both by Nicholas Hilliard, were painted a quarter of a century apart, yet both sitters are wearing garments made from the same fabric. 

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Going out on a limb here, but there is a resemblance of the portrait which some claim is of either Anthony Bacon or Robert Devereux to Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury.

168672042_ScreenShot2023-03-27at4_26_30pm.png.b5644228be477dfacbcb7482b3be414c.png

1217146202_ScreenShot2023-03-27at4_27_05pm.png.4d0eea9139b2a29d08624ef231c71cd8.png

1973039436_ScreenShot2023-03-27at4_27_36pm.png.5d5bc4428327a1f6e9c048148b2031ae.png

1659636369_ScreenShot2023-03-27at4_28_21pm.png.551c77679d4dccee75881919f760aca3.png

The portrait on the right was painted in 1594 by Hilliard, when Robert Cecil was 31 years old. The portrait on the left dates from 1602 and is by John de Critz the Elder. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cecil,_1st_Earl_of_Salisbury

 

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3 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

Hi Eric, Yes there does seem to be a resemblance which would point to the disputed sitter potentially being Anthony because of course Anthony & Robert Cecil were first cousins so you would expect there to be a family likeness. Very interesting.

Just received a reply from Gorhambury in response to my request for information about the "Venus and Adonis" painting by Titian and the portrait of "Robert Devereux".

Gorhambury response to Venus and Adonis by Titian.pdf

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8 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

On closer inspection, the jewel fastened to the right sleeve of Elizabeth's gown does not resemble a pelican at all.

image.png.9c93191962ae6dad4840e9ac7b8b8996.png

I see A Phoenix, but my glasses are old and my eyes have changed. Wings?

A Two Headed Eagle?

Or perhaps a popular contemporary Stratford primitive symbol, maybe a face, an animal, constellation, or vagina?

What is it? It is something that we are supposed to recognize. The actual artwork of the jewelry may have had  its own meaning, but chosen for the painting it makes a statement.  The same fabric on two paintings that ended up at Gorhambury House, what a coincidence.

Think about it, I'd love to know who created that cloth that was for Queen Elizabeth and "a friend."

It has a story, and if it ever reappears we will enjoy learning it! 🙂

 

 

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12 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

Just received a reply from Gorhambury in response to my request for information about the "Venus and Adonis" painting by Titian and the portrait of "Robert Devereux".

Gorhambury response to Venus and Adonis by Titian.pdf 10.54 MB · 5 downloads

They said this:

Your suggestion that the Robert Devereaux portrait is Anthony Bacon is riveting. It makes a good deal of sense as no art specialist of this period who has visited the house gives any credit to the attribution. There is a familial resemblance between the portraits we have of Sir Francis Bacon and this mystery male. The painting has a sister portrait of a tall angular woman with red hair who has been given the attribution of Elizabeth I - but again this is unlikely as she doesn't appear to closely resemble the Queen. I have never heard of Sir Anthony having a wife? But the way the subjects of the paintings are dressed would suggest they were a couple.

The face of this woman does not trigger my Elizabeth recognition, even though it may represent her actual looks more than her flatterers painted.

image.png.c90f71c27a54ed86d6353e55bbc13b14.png

I remember darker eyes, maybe farther apart. A strong chin.

image.png.064e14e072da8212a838660cf2b8aa3b.png

image.png.7c246725c60232a5ea0fc866d1898131.png

The pearls, the second painting with possibly Robert and the same cloth, is curious.

And Eric posted at the beginning of this thread, "Queen Elizabeth visited Sir Nicholas (at Gorhambury) in 1572 and again in 1577, 'coming thither on Saturday, 18 May, before supper, and continuing till Wednesday after dinner following., "A list of all the expenses incurred during the visit, including a cup presented to the queen, amounting to £577 6s. 7d., is preserved.  The queen in return for this entertainment gave Sir Nicholas her portrait painted by Hilliard, which still remains at Gorhambury."

I am intrigued and mystified. The lady in this Hilliard painting looks very tall! I'm having a hard time seeing Hilliard, where's the fine detail?

image.png.327fc42326ee7f2d50523bb5b00133a6.png

Yet, as I swim in my mind, I found a Hilliard that has lighter eyes on Elizabeth.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/feb/24/elizabeth-treasures-miniatures-by-hilliard-oliver-review-national-portrait-gallery-london

Queen Elizabeth I, by Nicholas Hilliard, 1572.

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8 hours ago, Light-of-Truth said:

image.png.9c93191962ae6dad4840e9ac7b8b8996.png

I see A Phoenix, but my glasses are old and my eyes have changed. Wings?

A Two Headed Eagle?

Or perhaps a popular contemporary Stratford primitive symbol, maybe a face, an animal, constellation, or vagina?

What is it? It is something that we are supposed to recognize. The actual artwork of the jewelry may have had  its own meaning, but chosen for the painting it makes a statement.  The same fabric on two paintings that ended up at Gorhambury House, what a coincidence.

Think about it, I'd love to know who created that cloth that was for Queen Elizabeth and "a friend."

It has a story, and if it ever reappears we will enjoy learning it! 🙂

 

 

We see a bird - most likely a phoenix rising. The cloth is very curious, would love to know more about it!

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This is all so interesting. Not sure about this but will put it out there. . .

The red haired sitter looks very unlike Queen Elizabeth. Apart from the hair there is no resemblance at all. The eyes are light, the nose is a different shape. It did look a bit familiar though - a bit like Lady Anne Bacon. However her hair was darker but there is a definite resemblance around the eyes and nose. I then remembered a portrait of Lady Anne's sister Mildred who married William Cecil Lord Burghley - she had red hair and it does bear some resemblance to our unknown sitter perhaps in younger days (as an added note Mildred was well known for liking opulent dresses) also what is that necklace around her neck?

Just some thoughts🙂

ab.jpg

MildredCooke1562-3.webp

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Nicholas Hilliard was of course in the train of Amias Paulet with Francis Bacon when he went into France. It was in Paris where Bacon would have sat for the famous Hilliard miniature and they would have known each other very well from these early days.

The necklace around Mildred's neck does look a little like a bird (phoenix, eagle) of some description.

Very inclined to think that the Lady sitter’s clothes and jewellery are that of a royal sitter however facially it doesn’t seem to stack up. It was known for high ranking Ladies of the court (wives of Elizabeth’s statesmen) to dress in an extremely fabulous manner with Mildred Cecil being a very good example of this.

From Shakespeare’s Henry VI part 2, Professor Fitter makes good the identification of Bacon’s uncle and patron William Cecil, Lord Burghley with Lord Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester and also hints at his wife resembling Mildred Cecil and her ‘splendid garb’ :  

Unanimously, the Tudor chronicles had presented Gloucester as “the good Duke Humphrey,” loyal servant of the realm and beloved of the commons. Shakespeare emphatically reproduces the popular gratitude for justice and underlines the Duke’s unswerving impeccable loyalty to the crown (1.2.17-21). He also, however, introduces a range of further characteristics that must have made identification of Gloucester with Burghley in the minds of many in the audience entirely inescapable at many significant moments.    
 …A[nother] key similarity was a cluster of parallels centering upon the peers’ wives. “Art thou not second woman of the realm?” demands Gloucester of Dame Eleanor, whose sumptuous dress (she “bears a Duke’s revenues on her back” [1.3.84,134]) more than hinted at Mildred Cecil, whose “splendid garb,” worn from the earliest of days of her marriage and reflecting “personal pleasure” not a necessary uniform,” has been remarked upon by biographers and displayed in portraits. Mildred knew that “the status of her husband” demanded her “visibility at the centre of power,” and was a regular attender at court….What is certain is that Gloucester’s conspicuous pain over a “lost” wife (“sorrow and grief have vanquished all my powers” [2.1.193]) echoed Burghley’s: Mildred’s had recently died (1589), and Burghley’s spirit was left, in his own words, “oppressed with the greatest grief.”1


1. Chris Fitter, ‘Emergent Shakespeare and the Politics of Protest: 2 Henry VI In Historical Contexts’, English Language History, 72 (2005), pp. 146-50. 
 

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