Tag Archives: Painting

Free tours at London’s galleries and museums – Tate Britain

Queen Elizabeth 1 Attr either to Steven van de Meulen or Steven van Herwyck (1530-67)
Queen Elizabeth 1 Attributed  either to Steven van de Meulen or Steven van Herwyck (1530-67)

Another excellent tour, this time at Tate Britain,  with familiar paintings given a different slant by our guide.

In this portrait of Queen Elizabeth 1st her jewelled dress, the gold background, the expensive imported carpet and her stance are all the attributes of a queen but her face is a white characterless blank. I had thought it was because ladies in the 16th century painted their faces white but the tour guide told us that until much later royalty and aristocracy were painted with these bland faces so as not to show the effects of ageing.

The Cholmondeley Ladies (The British School 1600-10)
The Cholmondeley Ladies (The British School 1600-10)

These two Cholmondeley Ladies (pronounced Chumley) were married to two Cholmondeley brothers. Born and married on the same days they gave birth on the same day.
They were previously thought to be sisters, rather than sisters-in-law, and I had been under the impression that they were twins. it’s those bland white faces again!!