Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Elizabeth with the Grace of God Queen of England…
  • Netherlands
  • Elizabeth with the Grace of God Queen of England…, circa 1585
  • Where object was made: Netherlands
  • wood engraving for book
  • Plate Mark/Block Dimensions: 315 x 193 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 335 x 209 mm
    Plate Mark/Block Dimensions: 12 3/8 x 7 5/8 in
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 13 3/16 x 8 1/4 in
    Mat Dimensions: 19 x 14 in
  • Source unknown
  • Not on display
  • 0000.0794

In portraiture, costume is one of the principal vehicles used to convey information about the sitter. The Queen of England appears here in richly ornamented ceremonial splendor, unquestionably a sovereign. Her face is framed by a lace-edged collar known as a “collet monte” (raised by a wire support) and by her elaborately curled hair (also arranged on a wire frame). Pearls - symbols of the Queen’s purity and chastity - outline the shape of the hair and lavishly ornament Elizabeth’s neck and the bodice of the gown. The elaborate brocade gown has the stiffly corseted bodice and padded sleeves characteristic of the Spanish-inspired dress of the period.