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I don’t paint many men from history- I love swirly soft brush strokes, so it’s much more fun to paint the women. However, our bonny friend Lord Robert Dudley made the very short list of male subjects. I’m fascinated how this scoundrel scored such a smart Queen as Elizabeth.

Due to his position at court- rumors circulated that he and the Elizabeth I had conspired to kill his first wife, Amy Robsart. After the hoopla settled, he remained unmarried for 18 years in hopes of marrying the Queen. He must’ve grown tired of cleaning his own codpiece, because he married Lettice Knollys- who was immediately banned from court by her majesty (jealous much?)

If he did play a role in the death of his first wife, karma certainly caught up with him. It is strongly suggested that Lettice poisoned Robert, causing his death from dysentery in 1588.

Not sure if I believe Robert was truly in love with the Queen or just a diabolical opportunist, but there is no question that she was in love with the man she called “Eyes.”