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Dudley goes too far…

At Christmas 1562, something altogether untoward happened in Elizabeth’s court. Robert Dudley was back in favour after the highly suspicious death of his wife, Amy Robsart, and so much so that when in 1562 Elizabeth fell ill with smallpox, he was named Protector of the Realm, was granted a vast income, and became a Privy Councillor. When Elizabeth recovered, soon after, perhaps he felt that his time had at last come… anyway, he greatly overstepped the mark.

Initially Elizabeth was enraged, and Dudley was out of favour, but then later in 1563, he was suddenly granted vast lands in Wales, and favour after favour. Seen from afar, it would have been hard to tell what was going on, but fortunately there is a painting that tells us. It is of St Catherine’s Marriage, and because of its style, it was attributed to Adriaen Isenbrandt. This was in a way true, because that was indeed Aly’s alias in Bruges, but wrong in that he had dispensed with this alias back in 1551, so historians not only misattributed the painting, they also misdated it, since how could an artist paint a picture after his death? It’s only logical, isn’t it?

The Marriage of St Catherine, attributed to Adriaen Isenbrant, but dated 1563.

The painting is dated down in the bottom right hand corner, and carries annotations that tell us the true nature of the ‘spat’ that happened between the two lovers. Not at all what I was expecting, and I’m sure not at all what you were, either… but I’m going to link you to where you will find the story told. The conversation is fictional but the events described are attested to in the painting of St Catherine above.

Click on the image below for the somewhat startling details!