Portraiture: The Painted Texts of Elizabeth’s Faces

  • Anna Riehl
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)


The unstable relationship between the “real” face and its painted counterpart entails a formative influence on the conception, in the viewers’ minds, of how Elizabeth’s actual face appeared. Along with mass-produced images featured on coins, cheap prints, and broadside sheets, the faces of her portraits functioned as definitive public statements of Elizabeth’s looks. The interpretations and judgments passed upon Elizabeth’s faces in her portraits became interpretations and judgments upon the queen herself, and it is on these faces, belonging essentially to an elitist and higher quality genre of portraiture, that this chapter is focused.


Facial Expression Cover Image Early Modern Period Young Queen Henry VIII 
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© Anna Riehl 2010

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  • Anna Riehl

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