Queen Elizabeth I

English artist

oil on panel


127.3 cm x 99.7 cm

National Portrait gallery

Pierre Paul Rubens 


Reine des Massagètes


2,63 m x 1,99 m

Musée du Louvre, Paris

Photo (C) RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Michel Urtado

Leadership has to be earned and renewed. To be strong, a leader needs to be legitimate. How are women who are leaders or who rule represented in paintings and statues? Which elements connoting their legitimacy are visible? How do symbolic items contribute to strengthen female leadership? How can they inspire us today? What stereotypes and expectations about women’s leadership have been set by past representations? What has changed – or not changed – about this representation from ancient times to the modern era ?