A portrait by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens of one of the most famous gay men in history has been found in Glasgow, Scotland and restored to its original beauty.
— Glasgow Museums (@GlasgowMuseums) September 24, 2017
The painting, missing for four centuries, features George Villiers, the first Duke of Buckingham, thought to have been James VI and I’s lover,
James was King of Scotland as James VI from July of 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on March 24, 1603 until his death. The painting and its restoration are the subject of a BBC show called Britain’s Lost Masterpieces.
Although the Duke of Buckingham’s personal relationship with James VI and I is much debated, the king referred to Buckingham as his husband, and their relationship scandalised the court. In 1628, the duke was assassinated at the age of 35, three years after James died.
It was known that Rubens had painted a portrait of Buckingham in about 1625, but the work had been regarded as lost by art historians for almost 400 years.
Grosvenor said: “The chance to discover a portrait of such a pivotal figure in British history by one of the greatest artists who ever lived has been thrillingly exciting.
“I hope it inspires many people to visit Glasgow’s museums, some of the finest in the country. ”