Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of King Henry VIII 1491-1547 c.1590 1590c.

 English School 

Portrait of King Henry VIII 1491-1547 c.1590,  English School
Oil on Panel
16th Century
22 1/2 x 17 inches 58.7 x 44cm
Wentworth Woodhouse, South Yorkshire
To view portraits of Henry VIII currently for sale, please visit the Tudor and Stuart page at www.philipmould.com.

This portrait is one of a number of similar ''corridor'' works taken from Hans Holbein''s momentous picture of Henry VIII executed in 1537. The image of the King, initially devised for a wall painting in the Privy Chamber at Whitehall featured the monarch in a renaissance pose that derived from Donatello''s depiction of St. George. It is believed that at the time of its inception this representation of the King was intended for duplication and utilisation as an official image. Certainly it has endured as one of the most distinguished portraits of any royal sitter.

Our bust-length version of Henry VIII features the commanding, head-on visage of the monarch wearing a jewel-studded black and blue doublet and plumed cap. Between his squared shoulders falls a decorative chain as well as one which features the letter ''H''. As this image was one which was reproduced frequently, stylistic variations as well as alterations in the King's dress and jewellery feature commonly and serve to accent the individuality of each likeness. A further enhancing feature of this particular edition is in the visibility of the artist's technique, notably the sketch lines around the eyes and mouth.

Corridor portraits of this size and style were designed for display in the Long Galleries of England''s manor houses. Pictures similar to our image of Henry VIII were commissioned for corridor sets at Boughton, Longleat, Helmingham Hall and Ingatestone.
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