The iconic Armada portrait of Elizabeth I commemorates the most famous conflict of her reign – the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in summer 1588.
New for 2020: see the three surviving Armada portraits together for the first time. Visit Faces of a Queen
The painting is on permanent public display in the Queen's Presence Chamber in the Queen’s House, on the site of the original Greenwich Palace, which was the birthplace of Elizabeth I.
- In 2016, the Armada Portrait was acquired for the nation following a joint appeal with the Art Fund.
- Our conservators then undertook essential work to preserve the portrait's fragile painted surfaces which are over 400 years old. See the result and discover more about the conservation story.
- The Armada Portrait summarizes the hopes and aspirations of the state as an imperial power, at a watershed moment in history following the British defeat of the Spanish Armada. What were the causes of the Spanish Armada?
- The portrait was also designed to be a spectacle of female power and majesty, carefully calculated to inspire awe and wonder.
- Like many Tudor portraits, it is packed with meaning and metaphor. Find out more about the painting’s symbolism.
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