Early Elizabeth I portrait sells for PS2.6m

November 24th, 2007 - 12:33 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov 24 (ANI): An early portrait of Queen Elizabeth I that experts believe was specially made to present the monarch to potential suitors, has been sold for 2.6m pounds at a London auction.

The full-length, two-metre-high painting by Steven van der Meulen, had been expected to fetch between 700,000 pounds and 1m pounds, auctioneer Sotheby’s said.

Experts believe the portrait, believed to be the earliest surviving full-body picture of the monarch was commissioned to woo potential suitors.

Auction house experts pointed to the many alluring symbols van der Meulen included in the portrait, which depicts the pale-skinned Elizabeth dressed in a formal crimson gown decorated with pearls and gems.

In addition to a youthful portrayal of the monarch, believed to have been around 30 years old at the time the canvas was completed, the painting includes a welcoming depiction of flowers and fruit in the background.

The queen is also seen holding a glove in one hand, considered a symbol of the power she held as ruler of England.

“Like her father, Henry VIII, she was incredibly conscious of how important her image was,” BBC quoted Emmeline Hallmark, of Sotheby’s, as saying.

“This painting is so pretty and decorative, and the symbolism alludes to the fact that she is in the ripeness of her life, she added.

The painting had been gracing the wall of a private meeting room at Aylesbury Crown Court in Buckinghamshire for the past 50 years. (ANI)

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