Gloriana: The Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I

Gloriana: The Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I

by Roy C. Strong

Hardcover

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Overview

To examine the portraits of Elizabeth I is, as Roy Strong shows, to witness the creation of the legend of the Virgin Queen, of Gloriana and her burgeoning empire. The history of the portraiture is that of the deliberate manufacture of an image powerful enough to hold together a people divided by not only a rigid social hierarchy but also religious belief. When Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558 her subjects had a vivid memory of defeat in war and of religious turmoil -- the bloody reign of her half-sister Mary had only just ended. The policy of restoring the stability of the kingdom necessarily involved the image of the Queen: over the years she was to be transmuted from an elegant aristocratic lady into a cosmic vision depicted standing on her realm of England or, even more boldly, clasping the whole world in her hand. In view of the uncertainty over the succession her mortality had to be denied: she was therefore presented, in a political act of rejuvenation, as a young woman, even when in her sixties. The successful proliferation of the image may be measured by the love and devotion inspired by a monarch who in the later years of her reign has been described as 'aged, toothless, bald and irascible'. For two decades, from 1580 to 1600, that propaganda machine worked triumphantly, and it was only in the very last years that it began to fail. Roy Strong, one of the leading authorities on Elizabeth and her period, provides here a detailed analysis of all the major portraits, which include the work of masters such as Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver. He demonstrates, step by step, how the various sources were drawn upon by those who formulated this royal imagery and discusses its relationship with contemporary literature and pageantry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780500250983
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Publication date: 02/01/1987
Pages: 180
Product dimensions: 7.48(w) x 9.84(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface7
Introduction9
The Portraits
Princess Elizabeth, 1533-5849
Early Portraits by Levina Teerlinc, 1558-7655
Early Portraits of the Queen, 1558-7259
Elizabeth as the Divine Fountain of the Realm, 156562
'Queen Elizabeth and the Three Goddesses', 156965
'The Allegory of the Tudor Succession', 1572?71
Early Portraits by Nicholas Hilliard, 1572-679
Federigo Zuccaro's Visit to England, 1575, and the 'Darnley' Portrait85
John Dee's 'General and Rare Memorials Pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation', 157791
The 'Sieve' Portraits, 157995
The 'Sieve' Portraits, c. 1580-83101
Hilliard and the Queen, 1578-90109
The 'Ermine' Portrait, 1585113
Portraits from an Elizabethan Workshop, c. 1580-90117
The Origin of the Wearing of the Queen's Portrait, c. 1585121
Cynthia, Queen of Seas and Lands, c. 1586/7-1603125
The 'Armada' Portrait, 1588?131
John Case's 'Sphaera Civitatis', 1588133
The 'Ditchley' Portrait, c. 1592135
Isaac Oliver and the Queen, c. 1592143
Hilliard and the Mask of Youth, c. 1594-1603147
The 'Procession' Picture, 'Eliza Triumphans', c. 1601153
The 'Rainbow' Portrait, c. 1600-1603157
Apotheosis163
Notes166
List of Illustrations175
Index179

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Gloriana: The Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
staffordcastle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This excellent book, by the former Curator of the Victoria & Albert Museum and expert on sixteenth century painting analyzes the symbolism in the portraits of the Queen. Many of these portraits were made as political statements, and Strong relates the iconography of the paintings to the deliberately cultivated myth of Gloriana.