Artwork of the Week: November 2

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Unknown artist, British, Elizabeth I, Queen of England, oil on canvas, about 1588. 30 x 25 in. Gallery 15

This Fall, the Artwork of the Week celebrates the Museum’s “Season of Portraiture.”

Resplendent with pearls, gold, jewels, lace, red wig, and ostrich-feather fan, England’s Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558–1603) is a dazzling and commanding figure in this portrait. She had only a few official portraits painted throughout her reign, which then served as the basis for the many copies and variations that were disseminated throughout her kingdom and beyond. This portrait is based on an official life-portrait done about the time of the stunning British naval defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, when Elizabeth was 54.


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