1. Roy Strong published Portraits of Q E I in 1963 then an updated version in 1987. Other paintings have since then resurfaced. I have been collecting images of Elizabeth I for nearly 50 years and as a portrait painter see things differently to other scholars. She definitely sat for at least 3 or 4 portraits, Hilliard recorded painting his miniature now in the NPG, the phoenix, pelican and Rothschild portraits are derivations of that sitting. She sat for Isaac Oliver at the end of her life, the miniature is in the V&A, she also sat for the drawing by Zucharo and probably for one of the Arbury hall type paintings. At one point there was a decree that all bad paintings of her had to be destroyed, and they were to follow a pattern. There are a few patterns throughout her reign. The last is the rainbow Portrait with the the un lined face. But she obviously sat for the Ditchley portrait and all the other’s in that dress are fairly bad copies except the one in the Pitti palace which has the face of the masque of youth and she is wearing many more pearls. This portrait she sent to the Medici family, so I expect more pearls were added to show her wealth. She actually bought over a million imitation pearls, from Portugal. glass beads dipped in fish scale paste. real pearls in that quantity would have sunk her to the floor as they are quite a weight. Official portraits have always been copied , there are 169 versions of Ramseys state portraits of George III and queen Charlotte, and they vary considerably, all will have been done by different artists. My art master painted 5 official copies of the Herbert Gunn’s State portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in the 1950’s. There were over 60 made for embassies etc.

  2. sandra

    You can have no idea how many years I have been longiing to see that portrait of Elizabeth . from the Cambridge Old Schools ( seventh from the bottom on this page) in colour. You have made me very happy. These are not all the portraits of her, by any means. There must be a couple of hundred of them,of varying quality. Enough are good likenesses, allowing us to trace her image from the wary-eyed teenaged girl to the red-wigged Gloriana.

  3. Elia Merritt

    Loved the paintings. The dresses were stunning. The amount of work at time must have been pain staking. I loved all the shapes of pearls used. I am in awe of it all. She looked very similar in all the painting so it must a true likeness.

    • Tudors Dynasty

      I have seen several people state that she did not sit for all those paintings, that her likeness was a copy of one. That would explain why her face looks so similar in the paintings.

      • Charlene

        So many people wanted portraits of her that instead of sitting for painter after painter she had a face pattern made every few years and distributed. This eliminated the need to sit for endless portraits while at the same time it allowed her to control how the people saw her.

    • Robyn News

      How splendid. Many of the portraits I have not seen before. Some are certainly better executed than others, even to my untrained eye, but marvelous to get an overall
      Indication of her features from them . Also was there a glimpse of her actual hair (rather than a wig) in some?

  4. Celia

    There is at least one more portrait of Elizabeth I. It was displayed at the US National Portrait Gallery in a special exhibition about 10 years ago. In it, Elizabeth is younger and dressed in black–presumably when her brother, Edward was the king. I believe it was in a private collection and only loaned out for this special exhibit.

  5. Ania

    Diese Sammlung ist fantastische Darstellung von grossten Majestat der Epoche. Manche Bilder stellen auch echte, reine Menschlichkeit vor, zB unnbekanter Maler , 1620, im Barockcharakter – wir sehen alte Konigin die dachte von Rechnungsleben . Danke fur Idee der Ausstellung.

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