The portraits of Elizabeth I by Gower show how English painting,unlike English poetry and dramma,remained more or less isolated from the artistic and cultural revolution which was spreading over Europe during the time of the renaissance. They stand as an exstreme example of how Elizabethan artist tended towards archaism and stylisation.
The aim of these portraits was to exalt her as a formidable,untouchable icon of power and majesty. Elizabeth was apparently very sensitive about her immage and passed a law forbidding representation of her until an official portrait had been approved.This would then become a pattern for subsequence artist to follow. Most of the surviving portrait of the queen can be traced back to one of these approved portraits