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Queen Elizabeth I

13 of 127 portraits of Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I, by Unknown English artist, circa 1600 - NPG 5175 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Queen Elizabeth I

by Unknown English artist
oil on panel, circa 1600
50 1/8 in. x 39 1/4 in. (1273 mm x 997 mm)
Purchased, 1978
Primary Collection
NPG 5175


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The frame with its scrolls and festoons of fr…

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  • Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Reigned 1558-1603. Sitter associated with 127 portraits.

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This painting is known as 'The Coronation portrait', and shows the Queen crowned, wearing the cloth of gold that she wore at her coronation on 15 January 1559, previously worn by Mary I. She holds the orb and sceptre, symbols of her authority. The portrait appears to have been painted in about 1600, and is probably a copy of a lost original from circa 1559.

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Current affairs

Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex is put on trial for failing to put an end to the rebellion in Ireland, attempting to negotiate a truce with the rebel leader Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, and deserting his post. Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, replaces Essex as Lord Deputy of Ireland. The East India Company receives its Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I. Birth of Prince Charles in Scotland (later King Charles I).

Art and science

William Shakespeare writes Hamlet. The scientist William Gilbert writes De magnete ('on the magnet'), which pioneers research into the properties of the lodestone (magnetic iron ore) and introduces the terms 'electricity' and 'magnetic pole'. The miniature painter Nicholas Hilliard works on his painting treatise The Art of Limning at this time.

International

Henry IV of France marries Marie de Medici from the powerful ruling family of Florence, Italy. The Italian astronomer, philosopher and mathematician Giordano Bruno is sentenced to death by the Roman Inquisition and burned at the stake for heresy. Following the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu seizes control of Japan at the Battle of Sekigahara.

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