By Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
Last updated 2011-02-17
Whereas Philip had Titian to paint him, Elizabeth had to rely on barely competent locals, working in an old-fashioned style. Philip had an heir - the glory of a king and the hope of a kingdom. Elizabeth was childless. Whereas Elizabeth is depicted iconically, hieratically, without motion and almost without bodily solidity, Philip is confident enough to appear as a flesh-and-blood human being. Elizabeth's face is masked in make-up, while Philip is portrayed realistically, with the features recognisable.
Thus, wherever Philip's portraits went as diplomatic gifts they were reminders of his power - especially with his characteristic jutting jawline, evidence of his membership of the divinely elected Habsburg dynasty. Elizabeth, by contrast, suffered from two disqualifications for kingship, she was a woman in a patriarchal world, and a royal bastard whose claim to the throne was dubious.
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