I’m Jennie and today is my sixtieth birthday.
There. I’ve said it out loud. It’s my diamond jubilee.
To honor my love of all things English, my son had this portrait created for me.
I’m so glad he picked a flattering photo of me to insert into one of my favorite Elizabeth I paintings. It is particularly fitting because Elizabeth was in her sixties when this was painted but the artist painted her as a much younger woman.
Elizabeth I: The Rainbow Portrait, c1600, by Isaac Oliver. This portrait can be viewed at Hatfield House. Oliver was a pupil of Elizabeth’s favorite court painter, Nicholas Hilliard, and the brother-in-law of Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. Some historians have argued that Gheeraerts painted this portrait, but most favor Oliver.
It has the most elaborate and inventive iconography of any Tudor portrait. Elizabeth’s gown is embroidered with English wildflowers, thus allowing the…
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