Elizabeth I & Her People explores the remarkable reign of Elizabeth I through the lives and portraiture of her people. The Elizabethan period spanned over forty years and saw a significant expansion in trade, the creation of new industries, a rise in the middle classes and the development of a remarkable literary culture. These changes were brought about by the achievements of many different individuals, both at court and those working in the cities and towns and this exhibition explores their fascinating personal stories.
The show includes many outstanding paintings of Elizabeth I and her courtiers including explorers, statesmen and soldiers and enchanting portraits of the queen’s female attendants and maids of honour. Visitors will also come face-to-face with lesser-known Elizabethans including butchers, goldsmiths, personal servants, businessmen and women as well as writers and artists. These will be shown alongside artefacts from this period including exquisite jewellery, clothing, books and coins, which give a fascinating glimpse into their way of life.
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