A dose of painterly inspiration

A Young Man with Roses by Nicholas Hilliard

A lovely image; I particularly like the flatness of the leaves against the young man’s legs. The roses were called Eglantine by the Elizabethans….”with sweet musk-roses and with eglantine” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). The youth might be Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex. There’s an article written by Sir Roy Strong on the V & A website (Young Man Among Roses). He also quotes a poem written by Essex :

Love no more since she is gone!
She is gone and loves another.
Having been deceived by one,
Leave to love, and love no other.
She was false, bid her adieu;
She was best, but yet untrue.

I am listening to Dowland’s ‘The Earl of Essex, his Galliard’. It seems to suit the painting – image and music in harmony.