Elizabeth I Darnley Portrait

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Mark Cartwright
by Unknown Artist
published on 23 November 2021

A c. 1575 CE portrait of Elizabeth I of England (r. 1588-1603 CE) known as the 'Darnley Portrait' after its one-time owner. The queen is wearing a less feminine dress than in later portraits but still has her usual pearls, symbol of purity. She holds an ostrich-feather fan and wears a pendant from her waist, perhaps gifts from the courtier who commissioned the work. The pendant is composed of a ruby surrounded by four Roman gods: Minerva (Wisdom), Jupiter (Sovereignty), Venus (Love), and Mars (War).

The portrait has the distinctive 'Mask of Youth' representation of the queen which would be replicated in many later portraits of Elizabeth. Behind the queen is an imperial crown. The colours of this painting have faded significantly - the orange dress would have once been bright red and the queen's face not quite so white.

National Portrait Gallery, London.

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Artist, U. (2021, November 23). Elizabeth I Darnley Portrait. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/image/14898/elizabeth-i-darnley-portrait/

Chicago Style

Artist, Unknown. "Elizabeth I Darnley Portrait." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified November 23, 2021. https://www.worldhistory.org/image/14898/elizabeth-i-darnley-portrait/.

MLA Style

Artist, Unknown. "Elizabeth I Darnley Portrait." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 23 Nov 2021. Web. 08 Feb 2023.