ca. 1588-1589 "Armada" portrait by George Gower (detail) (private collection)

This is one of several "Armada" portraits of Queen Elizabeth of England celebrating the routing of the Spanish Armada. The Wikipedia article about the Spanish Armada can be found here

The Armada was not defeated by English action - it was defeated by limitations of the ships being able to sail in adverse wind conditions. English ship design, seafaring skills, and tactics were important, but not decisive. The word "armada" now has particular meaning in English - a huge naval force composed of many, many ships that is more powerful than a mere "fleet."

Elizabeth used art as propaganda. According to Black and Garland, A History of Fashion, p. 121 ((1980 ed.) - "... the Queen's costume is rigid and padded, but although dress at court usually changed more slowly than elsewhere, her ruff suggests the evolution of fashion. Whilst still being closed at the front, it is thinner and more frail (due to a supportasse? gogm) than it would have been before, and it is sharply tilted. The pointed bodice echoes male dress of the time and older, denser type of ruff is visible at her wrists. A proponderance of minute detail loads this dress with pearls, emblems, bows, and braid, all carefully arranged in a symmetric composition."

There are also several other "Armada" portraits.

Keywords:  1585, Hilliard, Queen Elizabeth Tudor, Tudor family, English, Queen, curly coiffure, high enclosing neckline, neck ruff, lace, jeweled and feathered headdress, framing headdress, hair jewelry, rolled sleeves, full puffed sleeves, carcanet necklace, necklace, jeweled sleeves, false sleeves, jeweled bodice, girdle, double cuffs, French farthingale, deep vee waistline, under-skirt, bows, geometric pattern in dress


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