|—||Queen Elizabeth I (via trepatukas)|
She is so clever and though she is like me in so many ways, she is not intemperate as I was.
as worn by Helen Mirren’s Elizabeth in Tom Hopper’s Elizabeth I, designed by Mike O’Neil.
using his knowledge from his time with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the lack of any Renaissance costumes to be hired, O’Neil taught craftspeople in Lithuania who handmade each costume.
NO RAINBOW WITHOUT THE SUN
(from Venetian Red)
“As a protege of the favored court painter, Oliver painted a miniature that was a likeness of the aging Queen which could have cost him his career. In 1596 the Privy Council issued orders that all “unseemly portraits” of the Queen be destroyed—thereafter the Queen was pictured only in the so-called “Mask of Youth” and portrayed as untouched by age. Elizabeth I often referred to the sorrows of her aging body, so it wasn’t vanity that prompted this edict, rather a wish to portray the monarch as perpetually potent, ageless—especially critical for maintaining the authority of an unmarried Queen who would never produce a male heir.
Rainbow Portrait was painted when Elizabeth was 67 years old. Volumes have been written about this painting, interpretations that expound, variously and with great conviction, on the perceived religious, political, literary and sexual symbolism in the work. On the simplest level, it is a portrayal of Elizabeth as Astraea, the youthful goddess of justice. She is wearing pearls, the symbol of virginity; her bodice is embroidered with English wildflowers to symbolize her youth and virtue. The serpent embroidered on her left sleeve represents wisdom, also alluding to Eden and the need to be ever-vigilant against evil. The serpent also has a heart-shaped ruby in his mouth, indicating that Elizabeth’s heart is ruled by wisdom, not emotion.
Elizabeth’s mantle is covered with ears and eyes, indicating that the Queen sees and hears all–or, perhaps, that her counselors and servants see all, but that only she speaks. In her right hand she holds a rainbow, symbol of hope, wisdom, faith and peace. The rainbow is oddly colorless—but the explanation seems to be in the Latin inscription on the painting, “Non sine sole iris”—no rainbow without the sun. Queen Elizabeth is the sun, her vibrant red hair and the elaborate rays of her multi-tiered lace collar proclaim that she outshines all by her brilliance, that she is the link to the divine, and that by her wisdom and virtue the people of England will be guided to peace and prosperity.”
John Dee performing an experiment before Queen Elizabeth I
Oil painting by Henry Gillard Glindoni
This painting shows the house of the renowned Dr John Dee (1527-1608) in Mortlake. The house was the subject of a book by Peter Ackroyd, ‘The House of Doctor Dee’.
At the court of Queen Elizabeth I, Dee was internationally revered for the range of his scientific knowledge, which embraced the fields of mathematics, navigation, geography, alchemy/chemistry, medicine and optics. He was a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, and later one of the original Fellows of Trinity College.
In the painting he is showing the effect of combining two elements, either to cause combustion or to extinguish it. Behind him is his assistant Edward Kelly, who is wearing a long skullcap to conceal the fact that his ears had been cropped as a punishment for forgery.
Queen Elizabeth I paid several visits to Dee’s house in Mortlake and gave all her support to his research. In the picture the Queen sits in the left middle-ground, Sir Walter Raleigh is on her left, and behind him, holding a staff, is the Lord Treasurer William Cecil, 1st Lord Burghley.
When first painted, the painting showed Dee standing in a circle of human skulls, the accoutrement of practitioners of black magic. The artist later painted over the skulls, yet owing to changes in the chemical structure of the paint over time, they are now becoming visible once more.
Tomb Effigy of Queen Elizabeth I in Westminster Abbey