Marcus Gheeraerts II

Sir Henry Lee

1600

On display at Tate Britain

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1143 x 660 mm
frame: 1430 x 1170 x 85 mm
Collection
Lent from a private collection 2008
On long term loan
Reference
L02883

Display caption

Sir Henry Lee (1533–1611) was a favourite courtier of Elizabeth I, appointed as Queen’s Champion and Master of the Armoury. He organised the annual Accession Day celebrations, turning them into large and spectacular public festivals in honour of the queen. Sir Henry commissioned portraits for his house at Ditchley in Oxfordshire, including the famous Ditchley portrait of Elizabeth I (now in the National Portrait Gallery). In 1597 he was created a Knight of the Garter, the highest chivalric order in England, and is shown here wearing its insignia: the Collar (gold chain) and George (jewelled medal of St George slaying the Dragon).

Gallery label, February 2016