The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, October 22, 2014


New Research: Mystery Snake Revealed in Elizabeth I Portrait
"Queen Elizabeth I" by an unknown artist. Oil on panel, c.1580s-90s. ©National Portrait Gallery, London.
LONDON.- Scientific detective work has revealed a mysterious coiled serpent in the hands of Queen Elizabeth I, which was painted out by the artist shortly afterwards, in a portrait at the National Portrait Gallery. It has also been revealed that this portrait of the queen, which has not been on display at the Gallery since 1921, was painted over an unfinished portrait of an unknown sitter. The revelations about this painting and three others of the Tudor queen will form a new display, "Concealed and Revealed: The Changing Faces of Elizabeth I", from 13 March at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the Making Art in Tudor Britain project led by Dr Tarnya Cooper.

The portrait of Elizabeth I with the serpent (NPG 200) was painted by an unknown artist in the 1580s or early 1590s. Degradation over time has revealed that Elizabeth I was originally painted holding the serpent, the outline of which is now visible on the surface. Paint analysis has shown that the snake was part of the original design, painted at the same time as the rest of the portrait, and Elizabeth's fingers were originally clasped around the snake (as seen in the artist's impression). At the final stage of painting a decision was made not to include this emblem, and the Queen was shown holding a small bunch of roses instead. A serpent was sometimes used to represent wisdom, prudence and reasoned judgment - all fitting attributes for a Queen - but in the Christian tradition serpents have also been used to represent Satan and original sin. The removal of the snake may therefore have been due to the ambiguity of the emblem. The snake is mainly black, but has greenish blue scales and was almost certainly painted from imagination.

It has also been revealed that the same portrait was painted over the unfinished portrait of an unknown woman. X-ray photography shows a female head facing in the opposite direction and in a higher position than the queen. The eyes and nose of the first face can be seen where paint has been lost from Elizabeth's forehead. The identity of this original sitter remains a mystery, but the unfinished portrait was very competently painted and appears to be by a different painter. This discovery confirms that sixteenth-century panels were sometimes re-used and recycled by artists. The unknown woman appears to have been wearing a French hood, fashionable in 1570-1580s, suggesting that there may have been a period of a few years before the panel was re-used for the portrait of Elizabeth I.

The four portraits in the display, Concealed and Revealed: The Changing Faces of Elizabeth I, are all from the Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, and two have not been on display for decades. The portraits date from the 1560s until just after the queen's death and they have all changed in appearance in some way since they were created. Advanced scientific techniques have helped to unlock clues as to how they would have originally looked. Each has recently undergone in-depth technical analysis as part of the Gallery's Making Art in Tudor Britain research project. The display will examine why the changes took place and the evidence this tells us about portraits of Elizabeth I and artistic practices in this period.

"Concealed and Revealed: The Changing Faces of Elizabeth I" runs from 13 March - 26 September 2010 in Room 2 of the National Portrait Gallery.

Dr Tarnya Cooper says: 'The recent technical analysis on these remarkable portraits has been critical to our understanding of Tudor painting. The portrait of Elizabeth I with a hidden serpent is a really unusual survival. Yet, it is difficult to know exactly why the serpent may have been originally included, or how common this motif might have been. The queen certainly owned jewelry and costume including emblems of serpents, which were probably understood as a symbol of wisdom. However no other portrait of Elizabeth appears to depict her holding a snake. The current condition of the picture has meant it has not been on display for decades, and this display provides an exciting opportunity to present it to the public alongside other key portraits.'





Last Week News

March 4, 2010

Pablo Picasso Graphics Museum in Münster Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Miró Exhibition

Getty and Disney Team Up to Study Original Animation Cel

Los Angeles Police Removes Kennedy Death Items from Display

Schirn Kusthalle Opens Major Retrospective of the Work of Uwe Lausen

Bortolami Presents Third Solo Show by Michel Francois

Sotheby's will Exhibit Highlights from Forthcoming Sales of Russian Art in Paris

Exceptional Highlights - Art Karlsruhe Arouses a Mood for Discovery

Pure Sixties, Pure Bailey, a Selling Exhibition at Bonhams

Exhibition of Photographs that have Been Subject to Intense Controversy

Woman Convicted in Case of Stolen Antoinette Watch

Sumptuously Illustrated Medieval Manuscript on View at Metropolitan

George Krevsky Gallery Opens Exhibition from the Estate of Gordon Cook

Zhang Gong's First Solo Exhibition in the U.S. at Eli Klein Fine Art

Guggenheim Announces Online Auction to Benefit Exhibition Programming

Slugger Museum Offers Glimpse into Baseball's Past

Tate Britain Announces Rude Britannia: British Comic Art

Holy Russia: Russian Art from the Beginnings to Peter the Great Opens at the Louvre

Hubble 3D to Premiere at the National Air and Space Museum's Lockheed Martin Imax Theater

March 3, 2010

Nicolas Sarkozy and Dmitry Medvedev Visit the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral

Maria Lassnig Exhibition at Lenbechaus Presents Over Forty Paintings

Hauser & Wirth Announces Works from the Henry Moore Family Collection

Richard Hamilton: Modern Moral Matters at the Serpentine Gallery

Jasper John's "Flag" to be Shown by Christie's in Los Angeles

Record Auction Price Paid for Tin Target Robot at Morphy's

Exhibition of New Paintings by Dan Walsh at Paula Cooper Gallery

Saddam Hussein's Personal Physician to Show Works at University of Leicester

First Exhibition in the U.S. by the Helsinki School at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

Botticelli Exhibition at Stadel Museum Ends with Record Visitor Numbers

Medieval Mourning Sculptures from Court of Burgundy Featured at Metropolitan

Pentagram's Paula Scher Shows Limited Edition Screenprints at Stendhal Gallery

Important Antiquities Sale to be Held at Christie's in April

Canadian Glass Artist Laura Donefer Named Fourth GAPP Artist

Vancouver Art Gallery Sets New Attendance Record: Nearly 100,000 Visitors

Smithsonian Turns Down Suit Worn by OJ Simpson

Glasgow's Museum of Transport to Close in April

Major Collection of Middle Eastern Photography being Built for National Museums

Critics Laud Art from Africa's Ancient Ife Kingdom

AIA New York Chapter Juries Announce 2010 Design Award Winners

March 2, 2010

New Museum on Life of Frederic Chopin Opens in Warsaw on the Composer's 200th Birthday

Seminal Image of Mick Jagger's Arrest Helps Bonhams to Go 'Pop'

Galleries for Musical Instruments Reopen at Metropolitan Museum

Important Collection of Work by George Segal at L&M Arts

Massive Head of Famous Pharaoh Amenhotep III Unearthed in Egypt

Sotheby's Announces 2009 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results

Getting Naked for Art with Spencer Tunick at the Sydney Opera House

Daylight Architect, James Carpenter, Honored With EUR100,000 Award

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Expands Reach with Archive, Library

Extraordinarily Rich Survey of Surrealist Photography at Fotomuseum Winterthur

"The Tipu Sultan Collection" Headlines Sotheby's Arts of the Islamic World Sale

How Investment Helped the Art Market Weather the World Economic Crisis

Celebrated Artist Nari Ward's Opens First Solo Exhibition at Lehmann Maupin

Decorative Objects & Park & Garden Ornaments to be Auctioned at Sotheby's

Stone Age Sights, Sounds, Smells at Croat Museum

EAST 2010 Brings Over 100 Specially Curated Artist-Led Events

The AIA Elevates 134 Members and 11 International Architects to the College of Fellows

Now Showing on Art in the Loop's ARTwall: Forever People by Ascot J. Smith

David F. Bolger Gifts 1.105 Million for Ringling Estate Waterfront Improvements

March 1, 2010

"Matisse to Malevich: Pioneers of Modern Art from the Hermitage" Opens this Week

Keith Haring Anniversary Show at Tony Shafrazi Gallery

LACMA Presents 150 Years of American Masterpieces

Exhibition Features Artists Who Have Revolted Against Aesthetic Orthodoxies

New Works by the Danish-Icelandic Artist Olafur Eliasson at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Greek Police Arrest Two Men with Valuable Antiquities

Thomas Wrede to Show Works from Manhattan Series at Henn Gallery

Gallery Shows Works by Silvia Levenson, Lorraine Peltz and Nicole Schmoelzer

Rupert Shrive Gives New Meaning to the Word 'Portrait' at Morton Metropolis

New Sculptures by Niklas Klotz at Jens Fehring Gallery

Alice Anderson Will Fill Riflemaker with Thousands of Meters of Hair

The Sketchbooks of Sir Nicholas Grimshaw on View at Edinburgh College

Anna Fox, Stephen Gill and Nigel Shafran Exhibit at James Hyman Gallery

South American Nudes by Marcos Zimmermann at Couturier Gallery

Margherita Manzelli at Collezione Maramotti

Fascinating Photographic Exhibition Portrays Life in Kings Cross from 1970-1971

Exhibition Highlights the Exceptional Beauty of Platinum Photography

The Hammer Museum Presents Luisa Lambri: Being There

Parsons Launches MFA in Transdisciplinary Design

International Sculpture Center announces 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award winners

February 28, 2010

Baroque Painted Sculptures Joined for the First Time by Great Spanish Religious Painting

Christie's Presents an Extensive Selection of Indian & Southeast Asian Art

Detroit Institute of Arts Opens New Permanent Islamic Gallery

Miami Art Museum Dedicates Largest Exhibition Space to Permanent Collection

Photos by Tseng Kwong Chi with Keith Haring at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Allan Stone Gallery Shows Accumulation with Works by Several Artists

New Paintings in Black by Lee Bae at Andrew Shire Gallery

Alexey Titarenko: Saint Petersburg in Four Movements at Nailya Alexander Gallery

Spring Blooms at Christie's Japanese and Korean Art Sale

New Cleopatra Exhibition to Make World Premiere at Franklin Institute

Prism Presents "Araki: A Perspective", an Exhibition of Work by Nobuyoshi Araki

Georgia Museum of Art Publishes Important Source on Early Italian Paintings

Columbus Museum Announces Latest Additions to Its Collection

The Glasgow School of Art's Digital Design Studio to Boost Access to Virtual Heritage

Campaign to Save the Staffordshire Hoard has Reached 1 Million

Photographers Explore Notions of Sovereignty and the Native Likeness

Circular Base Found Corresponds to Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl Temple Location

Phillips de Pury Announces the Sale of Mrs. Harry N. Abrams' Estate

Mexico Recovers 2 Stolen 18th Century Paintings

Acclaimed Choreographer Lonnie J. Hightower III Performs at the Phillips Collection

February 27, 2010

Largest Picasso Exhibit on Russian Soil in Over 50 Years Opens at the Pushkin Museum

Leading Artists at Christie's Sale of South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art

Fondation Beyeler Founder Ernst Beyeler Dies at 88 in Basel

President Obama Awards 2009 National Humanities Medals

Giorgio Armani Hosts "Richard Hambleton: New York" at the Armani / Teatro

Mark Rothko's Black Paintings Unveiled at The National Gallery Of Art

Refurbished Dundee Gallery Lights Up with Spectacular New Commission

Chicago's "Aqua" Selected as 2009 Skyscraper of the Year

Titian's Monumental "Diana" Paintings to Travel to U.S. for First Time

Sale of 19th Century European Art Features Recently Discovered Work

Lorenz Eitner Memorial Acquisitions Fund Established at Cantor Arts Center

Batman Comic Fetches $1.075 Million, Rewrites Record

Nick Patterson is the New Director of Communications at Birmingham Museum

250,000 and Counting! Masterpieces from Paris Breaks National Gallery of Australia Attendance Record

Women's History Month Exhibit Opens at New York State Museum

White House Announces 2009 National Medal of Arts Recipients

Parallel Exhibitions by Sarah Ortmeyer and Florian Huttner at Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst

Pieces of Rare Biblical Manuscript Reunited

Philly Museum Sends SOS to Care for Historic Ship

Dam Construction Results in Chichimeca Finding

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site