Mysterious snake appears in painting of Queen Elizabeth I
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
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
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
The Unsafe Child: Less Outdoor Play is Causing More Harm than Good
The third grade classroom that was visiting our nature center for the day consisted of mostly boys–rowdy, loud and rambunctious boys. As we started out into the woods, the children spoke loudly to each other in anticipation of what was to come. After playing a quick game and explaining the ground rules, it was time for free play. As soon ...
Rights group demand police need warrant to access data
American citizens should be able to rest safe in the knowledge that no one has the right to pry into their digital records, where they have been and how long they stayed there.
The Supreme Court has just received a brief from the Electronic Frontier Federation (EFF) stating that this should certainly be the case. However, in the case of Davis v. ...
Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities
Cities across the nation are seeing a startling rise in murders after years of declines, and few places have witnessed a shift as precipitous as this city [Milwaukee]. With the summer not yet over, 104 people have been killed this yearâ€“after 86 homicides in all of 2014.
More than 30 other cities have also reported increases in violence from a year ...
Bulgaria - Islamic State Terrorists Caught Crossing Into Europe Posing As Refugees
Bulgarian authorities near the Gyueshevo border checkpoint detained the five men, aged between 20 and 24, late on Wednesday, Bulgarian broadcaster NOVA TV reported.
The men were stopped by a border guard, who they attempted to bribe with a “wad of dollars.” However, they were searched and Islamic State propaganda, specific Jihadists prayers and decapitation videos were found on their phones.
How This NY Mom Made the Case for Her Sonâ€™s Religious Vaccine Exemption
An unidentified, Russian immigrant mother who practices the Russian Orthodox faith, has secured a religious vaccine exemption for her autistic son. New York has a bill on the table to eliminate religious exemption and to root out those who weren’t refusing vaccines on strictly devout, religious grounds. Yet, this woman’s plight goes back before talk of eliminating the exemption – two ...
|More News » |