Queen Elizabeth I

1 portrait

Queen Elizabeth I, associated with Nicholas Hilliard, circa 1575 - NPG 190 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Queen Elizabeth I

associated with Nicholas Hilliard
oil on panel, circa 1575
31 in. x 24 in. (787 mm x 610 mm)
Purchased, 1865
Primary Collection
NPG 190

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Sitterback to top

  • Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Reigned 1558-1603. Sitter associated with 125 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619), Miniature painter. Artist associated with 34 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This portrait is known as the 'Phoenix' portrait after the prominent phoenix jewel that Elizabeth wears at her chest, which was an emblem for rebirth and chastity. She also wears a heavy jewelled collar with a red and white Tudor rose in the centre. This portrait is associated with the artist Nicholas Hilliard because of the similarity of the pattern for the face to a miniature painted in 1572 and the controlled way in which the paint has been handled. It is evident that the position of the face was moved during the painting process, and a second set of features can be seen very faintly beneath the surface. Conservation of this painting was supported by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project.

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