Tate Kids



Queen Elizabeth I mask Inspiration




Nicholas Hilliard, Queen Elizabeth I, painted about 1547-1619.


In this portrait Queen Elizabeth I is shown wearing a dress studded with pearls and precious stones. In Tudor times only the richest people had their portraits painted. They were used to show off how important and powerful they were. The amazing dresses in them were made for wealthy women to wear while they were having their portraits painted. They would not have worn them at any other time.

The dresses were made of silks, lace, gold braid and other very expensive materials and were often covered with real jewels and gems such as pearls, rubies and diamonds.