Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Portrait of Elizabeth Stuart

She looked a lot like her grandmother, Mary Queen of Scots. From Madame Guillotine:
Elizabeth’s father, James VI of Scotland had inherited the throne of England in 1603 just three years before this portrait is believed to have been painted and it’s clear from the opulence in which the young princess is garbed that her parents had been working hard on dispelling any snobbish notions that their English court and populace might have had about the new Stuart rulers who had come from what was believed to be the rather barbaric lands beyond the border while at the same time upholding with aplomb the famed magnificence of the late Tudor court.

Obviously Elizabeth grew up to be one of the most fascinating and enigmatic personages of the seventeenth century if not all history and you can see why in this portrait, which shows her gazing out into the world with a frank curiosity while a hint of amusement lingers about the curve of her lips. We can also imagine what a stark contrast this poised young lady made with her gawkish, awkward, stammering and much less intelligent brother Charles, the eventual heir to the throne after the tragic early death of their altogether more promising and adored brother Henry. (Read more.)

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