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

Recent Israeli Synagogue Attack, a Possible False Flag?
2014 11 21
Dear Friends - I woke up yesterday morning to see a newspaper lying on the kitchen table with the front page proclaiming that five people were slain in an Israeli synagogue after a so-called "Palestinian attack." Some members of the media said that four people were killed, others said five, so it seems like that there was some confusion (or ...
The Michael Brown Shooting, Race Baiting for Political Power and Militarization of the Police
2014 11 21
From Youtube: The evidence clearly shows that Officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown, so why is this case being hyped by the mainstream media and the leftist political establishment?
Ancient Aryan Mummies and Pyramids of China
2014 11 21
After years of controversy and political intrigue, archaeologists using genetic testing have proven that Caucasians roamed China’s Tarim Basin thousands of years before East Asian people arrived. The research, which the Chinese government has appeared to have delayed making public out of concerns of fueling Uighur Muslim separatism in its western-most Xinjiang region, is based on a cache of ancient dried-out ...
Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
2014 11 21
Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet users’ computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computer’s camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
New UK spy chief says tech giants aid terrorism, privacy not ‘absolute right’
2014 11 21
Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ The new head of Britain’s GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA in the U.S., said he believes privacy is not an absolute right and that tech giants must open themselves up to intelligence agencies. “GCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age,” Hannigan said. “But privacy ...
More News »