In this week's Claire Chats, I talk about the famous Elizabeth I Armada Portrait and the campaign to save the Tyrwhitt-Drake version of it.
Update: the campaign is now over and the painting was saved! See http://www.rmg.co.uk/join-support/help-save-armada-portrait. Thank you for your help.
Sources and Further Reading
- Britain has two months to raise £10m to save most famous Armada portrait of Elizabeth I
- Elizabeth I: The Armada Portrait by C J Cairns.
- Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, by Marilee Cody.
- Portraiture of Elizabeth I of England
- The Tyrwhitt-Drake Armada Portrait - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fe/Elizabeth_I_Armada_Portrait_British_School.jpg
- The National Portrait Gallery Armada Portrait - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bf/Queen_Elizabeth_I_by_George_Gower.jpg
- The Woburn Abbey Armada Portrait - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7b/Elizabeth_I_%28Armada_Portrait%29.jpg
- NPG description of their Armada Portrait.
It’s just hard for me to comprehend how the Drake family could, basically, hold this portrait hostage. I realize there are two other paintings and that may be the reason why there isn’t more urgency on the part of the current royal family to save it. Since I’m in the US, it could be that I’m out of the loop because the news we tend to get about dirty politics and Kardashians. That’s a sad state of affairs, isn’t it?
I don’t believe they’re holding it hostage, they’re simply selling it at auction and that, of course, means that anyone with enough money can buy it. It’s hit the news because of the campaign to save it. It is sad when families have to sell historical properties, paintings and artefacts, but I’m sure they’re only doing it because they have to. They must be devastated to have to sell something that’s been in their family for hundreds of years. I agree, it’s a very sad state of affairs.