Collection Roy Miles Fine Paintings/Bridgeman Art Library, UK

A dapper King James I of England appears in this half-length portrait by John de Critz the Elder (c. 1552–1642), who held the title of Sergeant Painter to the King. A member of the royal Stuart family, James served as king of Scotland from 1562 until he died in 1625. With Queen Elizabeth’s death in 1603, James ascended to the throne of England as well. A year later, he commissioned a new translation of the Bible. As Leonard J. Greenspoon reports in the accompanying review of three recent books, the King James Version was not the first Bible in English, but it is certainly the most lyrical and lasting translation.