The Elizabethan Image An Introduction to English Portraiture, 1558–1603 Roy Strong

Publication date:
11 Jun 2019
Yale University Press
224 pages: 254 x 190mm
230 color illus.


A beautifully illustrated introduction to the Elizabethan aesthetic and its success, synthesizing recent scholarship and research

This richly illustrated volume presents an engaging overview of an extraordinary period of English history, the reign of Elizabeth I. Beginning with the great portrait of the Queen in grand procession with her Garter Knights, we discover themes that run through the rest of the book: chivalry, the changing structure of society, the complexities of imagery and heraldic symbols, and the richness of the Elizabethan imagination. Significantly, these paintings were personal commissions by private individuals and not for public viewing, so they speak volumes about the people who commissioned, painted, and saw them.
From portraits of the Queen herself and complex paintings of the knights and courtiers of her court to the formulaic works of the aspiring middle classes and their families—and miniature portraits with their intimate secrets—Roy Strong presents a detailed and authoritative examination of one of the most fascinating periods of British art.

Roy Strong is a historian, a writer, a broadcaster, and a leading authority on Elizabethan portraiture. He was director of the National Portrait Gallery from 1967 until 1973 and of the Victoria and Albert Museum from 1974 until 1984.

 “Engaging overview, in portraiture, of a rich period of English history.” —The Bookseller