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Daniël van den Queborne, 1552/1557–1602/1605

Sir William Drury, of Hawstead, Suffolk (1550–1590) [2015, YCBA]

Former Title(s):

Sir Wilian Drury [1985, Cormack, YCBA Concise Catalogue]

Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
93 3/4 x 61 1/2 inches (238.1 x 156.2 cm)

Inscribed on recto in black and yellow paint at the upper left in sky: “Sconsolato”; in later hand, in red paint at the lower right corner: “Sir William Drury. K[…]|Marshall of Berwick| 1572”

Dated in black paint on the trunk of the tree at the far right center: “D A | V | 15 Q 87" (A and V in monogram connected to the Q)

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
Accession Day tilts | armor | brocade | competition | costume | earring | feather | garter | gloves | helmets | jousting | jousts | lace | lance | landscape | man | military art | military camp | portrait | spur | stirrups | stockings | tent | tents | town | Tudor
Associated People:
Drury, Sir William (1550–1590)
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Sir William Drury was one of a number of courtiers who left England during the reign of Elizabeth I to support the Dutch Protestants in their war against Catholic Spain. Escaping the enormous debts he had run up through mismanaging his office in the Exchequer may have been an additional incentive to leave England. This striking portrait appears to have been painted in the Netherlands in response to the recent death of Sir Phillip Sidney, the soldier, poet, and doyen of the Elizabethan court, who had died the previous year fighting at the siege of Zutphen. The Italian inscription sconsolato (“I am disconsolate”) points to Drury's mourning. Drury’s own death was not as heroic; he died from his wounds after a duel with a fellow Englishman, Sir John Borough. Gangrene spread from his hand (which was amputated), to his arm (also amputated), and then to the rest of his body.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Sir William Drury (1550-1589) was a loyal supporter of Queen Elizabeth, who had been his guest at Hawstead Place in 1578, and his decorative armor and ceremonial lance reflect his participation in the Accession Day Tilts of 1585 and 1586 (these were held each November to honor the queen's accession to throne). The figures and town in the background may refer to his governorship of Bergen-op-Zoom in the Low Countries. Likely to have been commissioned to commemorate his appointment as governor, the portrait is on canvas, a material rarely used in England before 1600, and was probably begun in Flanders in 1587. The Italian inscription "sconsolato" (disconsolate) is enigmatic: it may refer to Drury's sadness at being separated from his home and loved ones; alternatively, it may have been added in a spirit of mourning after his death in a duel.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2010

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 28-29, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Lucy Gent, Albion's classicism, the visual arts in Britain, 1550-1660 , v. 2, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, New Haven, CT & London, UK, 1995, p. 290, fig. 154, N7432.5 C6 A52 1995 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Elizabeth Goldring, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and the world of Elizabethan art : painting and patronage at the court of Elizabeth I, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, New Haven, 2014, pp. 158-59, fig. 135, N5247.L45 G65 2014 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Edward Town, Danie¨l van den Queborn, painter to the House of Orange and its English allies in the Netherlands, Cambridge, p. 17, fig. 1, N72.S6 M54 2019 (LC) Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Lucy Wrapson, Migrants : art, artists, materials and ideas crossing borders, Cambridge, UK, p. 17, fig. 1, N72.S6 M54 2019+ (YCBA) [YCBA]

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