What does the Armada portrait tell us about Elizabeth?

This portrait could be seen as a tribute to Elizabeth’s success at protecting the nation from Spanish invasion or you could see a religious meaning: perhaps the ships are being forced onto the rocks by the “Protestant wind”.

What is the significance of the Armada portrait?

The iconic Armada portrait commemorates the most famous conflict of Elizabeth I’s reign – the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in summer 1588.

Why were portraits important to Elizabeth?

Elizabeth I, like all monarchs, used portraiture as a form of propaganda. Throughout her reign she wanted to be seen as a Renaissance prince, equal to any of her Continental male counterparts. In order to secure her country, Elizabeth needed to be seen as a strong leader, capable of resisting threats of invasion.

Why is a sieve a symbol of virginity?

The sieve. A sieve is a symbol of virginity and purity reaching back to Ancient Roman times, where the Vestal Virgin, Tuccia, reputedly proved her purity by carrying water, unspilt, in a sieve. This symbol was used to glorify Elizabeth’s virginity and associate England with the Roman Empire.

What is Elizabeth holding in the Pelican portrait?

Elizabeth is shown holding a red rose, a symbol of the House of Tudor and she wears a heavy jewelled collar of a type worn by her father, King Henry VIII. The changes to the eyes, mouth and nose evident beneath the paint surface may indicate that the artist began this portrait first.

Why are there 3 versions of the Armada Portrait?

Research suggests that the three paintings may have been produced by different workshops associated with unknown English artists, modelled on an approved miniature image of Elizabeth’s face by Hilliard.

Why are there so many portraits of Elizabeth I?

Portraits were commissioned by the government as gifts to foreign monarchs and to show to prospective suitors. Courtiers commissioned heavily symbolic paintings to demonstrate their devotion to the queen, and the fashionable long galleries of later Elizabethan country houses were filled with sets of portraits.

What is the symbol for Elizabeth?

In her hand she holds a rainbow, a symbol of peace; she possesses peace. Another common symbol of monarchy (and indeed life) is the symbol of the sun….The Elizabeth I Rainbow Portrait.

Symbol Meaning
Pelican Monarch sacrificing herself to the people
Sieve Virginity
Globe Imperial ambitions
Ermine Fox Virginity

What Colour eyes did Elizabeth 1 have?

We can be almost completely certain that her hair was a golden red, her eyes dark brown, her nose ridged or hooked in the middle, her lips rather thin, and her cheek bones pronounced.