Marlowe’s inspired imagery, see also:

  • Marigold Emblem
  • The Marlowe Memorial

This portrait may be of Christopher Marlowe. It was discovered at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1952 and required extensive restoration work.

The age of the sitter and date of the portrait as inscribed in the top-left corner are generally thought to match Marlowe, who was born in February 1564, and who attended the College between 1580 to 1587. The inscription reads ANNO DNI AETATIS SVAE 21 1585, one translation of which is “Aged 21 in 1585”.


Beneath this is inscribed the motto, QVOD ME NVTRIT ME DESTRVIT, which translates from the Latin as “that which nourishes me destroys me”.

Read more about the life and times of Christopher Marlowe, his plays and poetry, and how others have viewed him and his work. Also find out about the the eventful history of his Memorial in Canterbury.

The 1585 portrait discovered at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1952, may be of the 21-year-old Christopher Marlowe.