Resurrecting Elizabeth I in Seventeenth-Century England

Resurrecting Elizabeth I in Seventeenth-Century England

Resurrecting Elizabeth I in Seventeenth-Century England

Resurrecting Elizabeth I in Seventeenth-Century England

Synopsis

Introduced by a brief examination of the anonymous seventeenth-century miniature painting used on the book's jacket and frontispiece, essays in Resurrecting Elizabeth I in Seventeenth-Century England combine literary and cultural analysis to show how and why images of Elizabeth Tudor appeared so widely in the century after her death and how those images were modified as the century progressed. The volume includes work by Steven W. May (on quotations and misquotations of Elizabeth's own words), Alan R. Young (on the Phoenix Queen and her successor, James I), Georgianna Ziegler (on Elizabeth's goddaughter, Elizabeth of Bohemia), Jonathan Baldo (on forgetting Elizabeth in Henry VIII), Lisa Gim (on Anna Maria van Schurman and Anne Bradstreet's visions of Elizabeth as an exemplary woman), and Kim H. Noling (on John Banks' creation of a maternal genealogy for English Protestantism).

Excerpt

Elizabeth H. Hageman

NOW OWNED BY THE FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, THE PORTRAIT OF Elizabeth I reproduced on the book jacket and frontispiece of the present volume is a small painting in oil on oak panel. We have used it because it is such a lovely image of the Queen, because it was painted in the seventeenth century, and also because of its relevance to themes in the essays collected here. As William Pressly says in his Catalogue of Paintings in the Folger Shakespeare Library, the painting is derived from a print by the Flemish engravers Magdalena and Willem van de Passe. Following Arthur Hind’s Engraving in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Pressly further explains that the Van de Passes’ engraving derives from a full-length pen-and-ink drawing of the Queen by Isaac Oliver now in the Royal Library of Windsor Castle, and that Oliver’s drawing, in turn, perhaps derives from a now-lost (presumably life-size) painting by John de Critz. Although the date of Oliver’s drawing is uncertain, both the style of Elizabeth’s clothing and the age of her face in the drawing suggest a date late in her reign—in the 1590s or early 1600s. The Van de Passes apparently worked not directly from Oliver’s drawing, though, but from another descendant of it: a three-quarter-length engraving by Renold Elstrack published in 1618, fifteen years after the Queen’s death. The Van de Passes’ print differs from Elstrack’s in a number of details, including the use of a younger face for the Queen. It is the appearance of a similarly young face in the Folger oil that leads Pressly to connect the painting with the Van de Passes’ work, rather than Elstrack’s, and to date it after their engraving was published in Henry Holland’s Herωologia Anglica—after, that is, 1620.

The Folger painting differs from its source in a number of ways. At least some of these differences can be attributed to the material context in which each image appears. The engraving is one of sixtyfive illustrations in a handsome two-volume celebration of England’s Protestant history, while the oil painting is a unique and valuable . . .

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