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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And While We Are At It....Elizabeth I

Princess Elizabeth, c. 1546-7. Attr. to William Scrots.

Because I have been posting paintings of historical women, I figured I might include another: Queen Elizabeth I of England also known as the Virgin Queen.
The above is one of my favorite portraits of Elizabeth I. One of England's most well known Monarchs, the daughter of Henri VIII.
Period movies taking place during medieval times are not my thing, but I did like Shekar Kapur's Elizabeth because Cate Blanchett gave such a stunning performance.

Elizabeth's Coronation Portait

I read that the costumes in that movie were based on Elizabeth's coronation portrait , which is also a beautiful portrait - I love Elizabeth's long flowing red hair & alabaster complexion against the royal blue background, but this work feels more interpretive (as customary for a coronation portrait) than the one above. To me the first portrait gives us perhaps a better idea of what Elizabeth the person not the myth looked like. Below then is a(re) portrait(s) of Elizabeth in later years.
In 1562 Elizabeth supposedly fell ill with small pox which scarred her skin and also left her nearly bold. She then used make up and wigs to control her image, as we would say today.

Elizabeth I , "Darnley Portrait", c. 1575

Looking at Elizabeth, Christina and Nicole-Barb, makes one reflect on the plight of women through history. Christina and Elizabeth both rejected marriage and had no issue; Nicole-Barb remained unmarried after the early passing of her husband, with whom she had only one daughter.

Elizabeth I of England, the Armada Portrait, Woburn Abbey (George Gower, ca 1588)

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