Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619)
Portrait of Elizabeth I
Watercolour on vellum, stuck to pasteboard
Museum no. P.1-1974
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Purchased from the Earl of Radnor with the aid of a special Treasury Grant
Elizabeth reigned from 1558 to 1603. In her later years anxiety increased about who would inherit the throne. Hilliard responded with images that portrayed her as ever youthful. To emphasise Elizabeth's role as queen, he concentrated on her fantastic costumes.