A lost portrait of a young Elizabeth I that was discovered in the attic of a country house has intrigued historians after X-rays revealed that it was painted over an earlier picture of the monarch.
The painting, which had lain unnoticed in the dirty loft for more than a century, depicts the Queen as a pale, pious and austere young woman, and is one of the few pictures to show the 16th century royal in the early years of her reign.
Elizabeth, who is dressed in simple black clothes and clutches a Bible, was believed to have been around 26 when the portrait was painted.
But X-ray scans of the canvas have uncovered an earlier portrait of the monarch, in which she was drawn without the Bible and with a more ostentatious ruff.
"The assumption is that the artist – and we do not know who he is - did an intitial portrait, and either he or the Queen did not like it," said Philip Mould, the London art dealer who owns the work.
Monday, October 20, 2008
QE1 Portrait Discovered...
Via the Telegraph: