William Scrots (active 1537-1553)
Artist associated with 6 portraits
Nothing is known of his early life, training or parentage, but in 1537 William Scrots was appointed painter to Mary of Hungary, Regent of the Netherlands. In 1545, he went to England to take up a position as a painter at the court of Henry VIII, where he was the highest paid artist of the time. The most remarkable work attributed to Scrots is a portrait in distorted perspective of Edward VI. This type of 'anamorphic' portrait was popular in the Habsburg courts in the early sixteenth century; designed to amaze the viewer and display the artist's skills, the distorted image appears unintelligible at first glance but, viewed from the correct angle, or using a special viewing device, the perspective is corrected.