Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (d.1604)
Media: oil on canvas
Size: 133.9 x 102.2 cm
Acquired: 1965; Purchase
Accession Number: NMW A 17
The sitter was the elder son of the 1st Earl of Pembroke and his first wife Ane Parr. He was born around 1534 and succeeded as 2nd Earl of Pembroke in 1570. His third wife Mary was the sister of the poet Sir Philip Sidney. Herbert was probably the richest and most powerful man in late sixteenth-century Wales. He was a courtier, and his dress and pose reflect his aristocratic status. He was appointed Lord President of the Council of Wales in 1586. He was himself a cultured patron who devoted much energy to the restoration of Cardiff Castle and who patronised antiquaries and collected heraldic manuscripts. He could speak Welsh, and was described by a contemporary as ‘llygad holl Gymru’ (the eye of all Wales). This stiff, formal image was painted around 1590.