About this artwork

William Drummond's father held a position at the court of James VI, and William was brought up amongst poets and writers. He studied in Edinburgh, London, Bourges and Paris, intending to be a lawyer. However, when his father died, Drummond abandoned his legal career and devoted himself to poetry and mechanical experiments. His chief works include Tears on the Death of Meliades, a lament on the death of Prince Henry, and The Cyprus Grove. This portrait shows him in elegant court dress, with a fine lace collar.

Abraham van Blijenberch

Abraham van Blijenberch

The Netherlandish painter Abraham van Blijenberch worked in London from 1617 until 1622, when he moved to Antwerp. He enjoyed patronage at the highest level; Prince Charles sat to him, as did several of the leading members of the Jacobean court. He also painted Ben Jonson, the poet, playwright and friend of William Drummond of Hawthornden. He is known to have worked on tapestry designs for the royal factory at Mortlake.