The Elizabethan era was a time of transition between Gothic and Renaissance styles. It reached its highest point in the late 1500’s during the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. It is also called the last stage of the Tudor style.
Art in Elizabethan days was not only portraits but it was mainly paintings on palaces, ships and painting for festivals. It was an era where they liked surfaces filled with color. Medieval painting had the closest association with religion. Before the sixteenth century there were hardly any portraits of people other than kings, but after Elizabeth started to rule middle class people started to be sculpted and painted. .
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This age marked a distinction between public and private portraits. Public portraits were important to people since others would see them and they needed to be portrayed as a good person. Private portraits were of less importance. The lesser pictures were exchanged among family members and friends. .
The most important artistic question was the portrayal of the queen. These pictures affected the view of the queen by the whole empire. The pictures were copied over and over so that all the people could see her. The picture of the queen had to look realistic but also be somewhat idealized. Elizabeth went through many artists looking for the one that painted her the best.
Another form of art was in architecture. “The finest architecture, then, represented a fertilization of native vigour with foreign sophistication, as in music and literature.”(Rowse) Architecture during this age had many characteristics. Architecture used many decorative designs around the inside and the outside of the building. Elizabethan architecture was mostly geared toward having symmetry. Churches were built with big windows, high ceilings, and courtyards in the center.
The demand for music increased greatly during the Elizabethan days. People wanted to have music in their homes.