Elizabeth I Essay

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What messages did Elizabeth I give to her subjects through two portraits? The Armada Portrait & The Rainbow Portrait Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. She was born in September 1533. Her mother was beheaded when she was two and a half years old- Many people had different views to why she was executed on 19th May 1536 at the Tower of London. - Anne committed treason, this meant that she had affairs with other men, and if she produced a child, it wouldn’t be Henry VIII. Elizabeth had many portraits painted during her reign (1558-1603). The Armada Portrait sends messages using symbols to you about her wealth and personality… The pearls around her neck show that England is a wealthy country and that she is rich herself. The globe, I think, represents her becoming the ruler of the world, this shows she’s powerful. Also, the two paintings of the Spanish Armada show triumph of her navy, and during the battle. This portrait was painted shortly after the defeat of the Spanish armada in 1588. Also the bows on her gown show she is feminine. Painted around 1600-1602, by Isaac Oliver, was the Rainbow Portrait. She again used symbols to show she was queen. On her dress, eyes and ears are sewn deeply into the fabric. As queen, she quoted- ‘I have eyes and ears everywhere’, meaning you couldn’t get away with anything. She did in fact have a spy- Francis Walsingham. Also the pearls around the necklace show virginity. Another quote was- ‘There would be no rainbow without the sun’, basically meaning she brings peace to the world. This portrait was important as it was painted a few years before she died (1590s) when people's living conditions had greatly improved. Both of these portraits have key similarities. They both create an ‘image’ of what she looked like, by using a form of Propa Ganda (making you think of someone in a particular way).

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