Robert Rich (1587–1658), Second Earl of Warwick

Anthony van Dyck Flemish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 618

A Puritan sailor of fortune, the second earl of Warwick promoted the colonization of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and seized Spanish ships on behalf of the duke of Savoy and Charles I of England. Among the privateer ships he sponsored was the White Lion, which brought the first enslaved Africans to the British colony of Virginia in 1619. Despite allusions to his maritime career in the discarded armor and ships in the background, Warwick wears the flamboyant dress of a landed aristocrat, reflecting the image of himself he wished to promote.

Robert Rich (1587–1658), Second Earl of Warwick, Anthony van Dyck (Flemish, Antwerp 1599–1641 London), Oil on canvas

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