George Gower by Caroline O'Donnell

Biography of George Gower

George Gower was born in 1540 in London, England which is also where he grew up. George spent most of his life in England during the Elizabethan period, and his education and training is little known.

Gower was a Yorkshire gentleman, and was appointed as a serjeant painter in 1581. He made portrait paintings, and was one of the most successful portrait painters in England at the time. George's main patron was Queen Elizabeth, since George was her painter.

George Gower would apply to humanism, since all of his paintings represented real people, and not gods. His paintings were not religious in any way.

"Portrait of Elizabeth I Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I" by George Gower

This painting was created in 1579 by George Gower, and can be found at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C.

This was painted with oil on a wood canvas, and is extremely detailed. Queen Elizabeth is sitting in a large dress with jewels all over it, and the dress is black, light pink, and white. Her hand is resting on a globe, and she is sitting on a chair with a crown behind her. She has a very serious look on her face.

Out of all of the -isms, humanism is the most expressed in this piece. This painting compares to humanism because this portrait is about humans and humans only. Humans decide their own fate, not the gods, which is portrayed here as Queen Elizabeth's look and visibility of power, such as the crown, and Elizabeth holding the globe as in the 'world'.

I find this piece interesting because of its detail. Not only the detail in artwork but also the detail in context, since there are so many details in the painting that could be interpreted in different ways. It was also a painting that I actually recognized and found familiar.

Gower, George. Portrait of Elizabeth I Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I. 1579, oil on wood. Folger Shakespeare Library.

John A. Wagner. "George Gower." World History: The Modern Era, ABC-CLIO, 2016, Accessed 5 Dec. 2016.

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