Queen Elizabeth I
8 of 134 portraits of Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth I
by Unknown artist
oil on panel, 1585-1590
37 1/2 in. x 32 1/4 in. (953 mm x 819 mm)
Given by wish of Sir Aston Webb, 1930
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Reigned 1558-1603. Sitter associated with 134 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait was not the result of a sitting from the life but instead reverses a version of the face pattern found in the 'Darnley' portrait. The portrait is one of a group, which together provide evidence of the increased demand for the queen's image at the time of hostilities against the Spanish.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Bolland, Charlotte; Cooper, Tarnya, The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered, 2014 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12th September 2014 to 1st March 2015), p. 150
- Clare Gittings, The National Portrait Gallery Book of Elizabeth I, 2006, p. 17
- Cooper, Tarnya, Searching for Shakespeare, 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 2 March - 29 May 2006), p. 157
- Cooper, Tarnya, Searching for Shakespeare (hardback), 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 2 March - 29 May 2006), p. 157
- Cooper, Tarnya; Fraser, Antonia (foreword), A Guide to Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 2012, p. 9
- Parris, Matthew, Heroes and Villains: Scarfe at the National Portrait Gallery, 2003 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 30 September 2003 to 4 April 2004), p. 66
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 200
- Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 104
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1585back to top
Current affairsAnglo-Dutch treaty of alliance against Spain is signed at Nonsuch Palace.
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester arrives in the Netherlands with 7,000 soldiers to fight for the Dutch Protestant cause and is appointed Governor-General of the Netherlands.
An expedition, funded by Sir Walter Ralegh and led by his cousin, Sir Richard Grenville, establishes an ill-fated colony on Roanoke Island. The area is named Virginia after Queen Elizabeth I.
Art and scienceMiniature of Sir Walter Ralegh is painted by Nicholas Hilliard at about this time.
The publisher Robert Waldegrave is imprisoned for printing Puritan books.
The explorer John Davis discovers the strait named after him between Greenland and Canada while searching for the Northwest Passage to the Far East.
InternationalHenry III of France bows to pressure from the militant Catholic Henry, Duke of Guise to sign the Treaty of Nemours, which revokes all toleration of Huguenots. Opposition to the legal heir to the crown, the Protestant Henry of Navarre provokes the final French War of Religion.
Sack of Antwerp by Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma, the Hapsburg Governor of the Netherlands. The city's pre-eminence as a centre of international commerce is lost to Amsterdam.
Exhibitions and displays
- Life, Death and Memory
Until 4 February 2018
- Concealed and Revealed: The Changing Faces of Elizabeth I
- WebQuest: Elizabeth I's New Portrait
- WebQuest: Painting Elizabeth I
- WebQuest: Henry VIII's Next Wife?
- WebQuest: Famous People Guy Fawkes
- Concealed and Revealed:
The Changing Faces of Elizabeth I
- My Favourite Portrait by Fiona Shaw
- My Favourite Portrait by P.D. James
- Hidden: Unseen Paintings Beneath Tudor Portraits
- Tudor pick up guides
- Kings and Queens: A Family tree
- Return to Life: A New Look at the Portrait Bust
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Art Conservation Project
- Gallery Tour: Highlights of the Collection
28 December, 19:00
- Portrait of the Day: Henry VIII & Katherine of Aragon
17 December, 12:30
Tell us more
Help us conserve a portrait of a female adventurer, poet and medical pioneer