Mysterious snake appears in painting of Queen Elizabeth I
2010 03 10

From: TheHistoryBlog.com


A late 16th century portrait of Queen Elizabeth I has reveled over time and degradation that she was originally depicted holding a coiled serpent in her hand instead of the innocuous nosegay she holds now. When an earlier image that has been painted over begins to show through, that is known as a pentimento, which means repentance in Italian.

The portrait, painted by an unknown artist, some time in the 1580s or early 1590s, has not been on display at the National Portrait Gallery since 1921. You can clearly see the shadow of the serpent’s coming up from between her fingers and his tail coiling above her hand.

The serpent was a symbol of wisdom and reasoned judgment — as on the rod of Aesculapius, the physicians’ emblem — so that’s probably where our unknown artist was going with the imagery. He changed his mind, though (possibly in consideration of the common association of snakes with the devil and original sin), and quickly painted it over with a strangely-shaped but perfectly inoffensive little bouquet of roses.

Paint analysis shows that the snake was definitely made at the same time as the rest of the portrait. There is no varnish between the snake and flower layers, so we know it was painted right over.


The painting today (left) and an artist’s impression of how the snake may have originally looked.

The artist repented of his creation, if you will, and now the serpent is repenting him right back.

That’s not the only pentimento showing through, though. X-rays show that a portrait of an unknown woman lies underneath Elizabeth. Her head is higher and she’s facing the opposite way.[...]you can actually see her eye and nose in the left side of Elizabeth’s forehead and temple where the paint has chipped off. It looks like an absorbed twin.


Image altered to illustrate secondary face.

Again the painter is unknown, but he’s definitely not the same person who would paint Elizabeth on the panel later. It’s very thoroughly painted but not quite complete. This lady is wearing a French hood, a garment fashionable from 1570 to 1580, so she might have been on the recycling heap for 10 to 20 years before getting royally repurposed.

The serpent portrait will go on display starting on March 13th along with 3 other interestingly altered paintings of Elizabeth I in an exhibit called Concealed and Revealed: The Changing Faces of Elizabeth I.

The four works range in date from the 1560s until just after her death in 1603. They were all modified in their time and have recently been re-examined using advanced scientific techniques of paint analysis, infrared and x-Ray photography so we can see more of what Elizabeth painters had hidden.

The most famous portrait of Elizabeth in the group, the Darnley portrait, originally showed the Queen with pink and rosy cheeks, so the image of the Virgin Queen always made up with white face and hands may turn out to be more of an artifact of faded paint than Elizabeth beauty standards.

Article from: TheHistoryBlog.com


Portrait of Queen Alexandra and her favoured serpent bracelet.



Video from: YouTube.com



Also tune into:

Gene Matlock - The Ancient Connection between Turkey, India, & the Mayans

Edmund Marriage - Kharsag, Garden of Eden and Stars and Stones Forum

Andy Lloyd - Dark Star Mythology, Symbolism in Alchemy & Freemasonry

Michael Tsarion - Sorcerers and Magicians: Amenists, Atonists, Druids and Scythians

Michael Tsarion - The Druids, Culdeans, Gaels & The Creation of Christianity

Michael Tsarion - Astro-Theology

Michael Tsarion - Sorcery & Magic

Philip Gardiner - Secrets of the Serpent, Symbology and Myth

Philip Gardiner - Secret Societies and the Knights of the Temple



Related Articles
Serpent Symbolism - Wikipedia
The serpent in Freemasonry
Snake Cults Dominated Early Arabia
Deciphering of earliest Semitic text reveals talk of snakes and spells
The Serpent and the Real Origins of Freemasonry
Biscione - Italian Serpent Symbolism strikingly similar to Quetzalcoatl in Mayan Mythology
Sky Serpents
Crop Circle depicting Quetzalcoatl, The Feathered Serpent?
Megan Fox’s golden serpent dress.
Princess Michael of Kent’s book: " The Serpent and the Moon"
1882 Queen Emma wearing a snake bracelet while with Wilhelmina (Image)


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
6 Million Lies
2014 10 30
“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming hell.” C Wright Mills. I need to share information I have discovered ...
Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself
2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
More News »