Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Queen Elizabeth I - 1560s Allegory Paintings Using Myths to Promote the Queen

1569 Elizabeth I and the Three Goddesses attr to Hans Eworth

1569 Queen Elizabeth I 1533-1603 and the Three Goddesses Detail attr Hans Eworth

Queen Elizabeth I was featured in at least 2 allegorical paintings using the lessons of classical mythology to promote the beauty & sovereignty of the young queen. These allegorical paintings were the public relations & propaganda tools of her early reign. The painting Elizabeth I and the Three Goddesses (1569), attributed to Hans Eworth, is the story of the Judgement of Paris resulting in a projected peace rather than the long Trojan wars of the original tale. Elizabeth, rather than Paris, is sent to choose among Juno, Venus, and Pallas-Minerva, all of whom are outshone by the queen with her crown & royal orb.

1572 Family of Henry VIII, an Allegory of the Tudor Succession attr to to Lucas de Heere

1572 Queen Elizabeth I 1533-1603 from 'The Family of Henry VIII An Allegory of the Tudor Succession' att to to Lucas de Heere

In 1572, The Family of Henry VIII: An Allegory of the Tudor Succession is attributed to Lucas de Heere. In this image, Catholic Mary & her husband Philip II of Spain are accompanied by Mars the god of War on the left, while Protestant Elizabeth on the right ushers in the goddesses Peace and Plenty. The work may commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Blois (1572) which established an alliance between England & France against Spanish aggression in the Netherlands.