Elizabethan Propaganda Part 1

Lovely Old Tree

16th century propaganda is something I found particularly fascinating when looking at Tudor portraits as the number and complexity of different symbols used in the paintings is incredible, particularly in portraits of Elizabeth I. It is clear that through paintings of herself, Elizabeth wanted to portray certain characteristics and ideas to her people.

Tudor Rose from The Pelican Portrait 1572The Tudor Rose
The Tudor emblem is incorporated into many of Elizabeth’s portraits, in order to emphasise her right to the throne and her place in the line of Tudor monarchs.

Sword from The Ermine Portrait 1585The Sword
In the Ermine Portrait, Elizabeth is depicted with a sword lying by her arm to give the impression that, although she rules peacefully, she is prepared to defend her realm at all costs.

Sieve from The Sieve Portrait 1583The Sieve
This is a symbol for virginity, deriving from the Ancient Roman story of the Vestal Tuccia, who carried water in a sieve to prove she was chaste.


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