- George Gower, 1540-1596
British, about 1540–1596
Elizabeth I, about 1570
Oil paint on wood panel
Promised gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, TL-16735
Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was the daughter of Henry VIII by his second wife, Anne Boleyn. She was crowned queen in 1558 upon the death of her half-sister, Mary, and reigned nearly forty-five years. This is one of the first likenesses of Elizabeth to portray her as she actually looked. It was painted when the queen was thirty-seven and had just been excommunicated by the Pope. Her sober black velvet dress, so unlike the lavish gowns she wears in portraits of the later 1570s and 1580s, seems to match her austere demeanor. George Gower was named Serjeant Painter to the queen in 1581.
- “Treasures from the Berger Collection: British Paintings 1400-2000” — Denver Art Museum, 10/2/2014 – 9/9/2018