Monday, 20 May 2013

Hold you by the frame, whisper your name

"I have a new room mate... she doesn't say much but I'm obsessed." - DDL.

When I was eight years old, we studied Elizabeth I's rule. We were shown portraits of her and, I know it sounds so pretentious, but I was immediately drawn to one: the Ditchley portrait (circa 1592) by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. I kind of forgot about it for a bit but a couple of years ago I went to the National Portrait Gallery and it was there. I was surprised by how big it is, it's almost two and a half metres tall and it just looked so impressive. In the museum shop, you can get any portrait printed onto paper or canvas so I had it printed on canvas as a birthday present. I only had it framed a couple of weeks ago though but I love having her on my wall!

Apparently, the theme of the painting is forgiveness and there are three Latin inscriptions which mean "she can but does not take revenge", "she gives and does not expect", and "in giving back she increases [something]". The little frame with writing to the right of her is a fragmented sonnet which has had to be reconstructed to understand the meaning of it. Its primary subject is the sun which is the symbol of the monarch.

I also love the detail of her jewellery and the texture of her dress, and that you can clearly the gauntness of her face. I think she was such an incredible, powerful, beautiful ruler and this portrait depicts that.

Song of the day:

Velvet Elvis - Alex Winston

(Let's call this Velvet Elizabeth: I don't think any song could be more appropriate right now)

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