This oil portrait is copied from one currently hanging in the Wilson Library of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It is thought to have been painted in the 1590s.
There is no evidence that Spenser owned such a portrait. He did, however, paint a complicated picture of Sir Walter Raleigh in his poetry. Raleigh was a fellow planter in Munster and a powerful patron and subject of his work, notably The Faerie Queene. (See Spenser and Raleigh) It is conceivable that Spenser would have owned a likeness of Raleigh and wished to display it in a semi-public space, so as to remind himself and others of his powerful patron.