Portrait of Queen Elizabeth, believed to be about 1599 and "from the workshop of Nicholas Hilliard" - the famous miniaturist. The National Trust site comments:
"This remarkable portrait of Elizabeth wearing a dress decorated with land and sea creatures appears to have been acquired by Elizabeth Talbot (‘Bess of Hardwick’), Countess of Shrewsbury (c. 1527 – 1608) and was almost certainly on display at Hardwick Hall in the Queen’s lifetime.
It concurs with others of the ‘Armada’ type, painted after 1588, in which the Queen is characterised by a rigid and hieratic expression and depicted almost as an impersonal image. It is thought that it was Bess herself who master-minded the design of the embroidery on the Queen’s dress, and possibly worked on it herself, intending it to be a spec-tacular New Year’s Day gift to the Queen. It is typical of the extravagant and sometimes bizarre late-Elizabethan style of embroidery which mixed together all manner of motifs taken from the natural world. A variety of flowers, including roses, irises and pansies, are interspersed with a lively depiction of insects, animals and fish."
|exposure mode||aperture priority|