~ Jarod Kintz
The artist is unknown, but believed to have been from the continent. It was believed he may have been brought to England specifically to execute this image. This portrait dates from around 1575, when Elizabeth was in her mid-40s. The name of the portrait (”the Darnley portrait”) is that of a previous owner of the work. The facial features in this image were used as the basis for numerous other portraits of the queen. The portrait reconciles feminine beauty and sovereign power to show her as a leader equal to those in Europe, although It shows Elizabeth looking cold, haughty and imperious, wearing a rather masculine doublet with a lace ruff collar, a double string of pearls looped around her neck and carrying an ostrich-feather fan. Interestingly, the extremely pale face we see today was not what this portrait originally looked like. The red pigments throughout the portrait have faded over the years, stripping the queen’s face of her much more natural, pinker complexion.