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William Scrots (active 1537-1553), Painter

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.

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1299

King Edward VI

attributed to William Scrots
oil on panel, anamorphosis, 1546
On display in Room 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1299

442

King Edward VI

by Unknown artist, after William Scrots
oil on panel, circa 1546
On display in Room 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 442

D31844

Queen Elizabeth I

probably after William Scrots
photograph of painting, late 19th-early 20th century (circa 1546-1547)
NPG D31844

D31842

Queen Elizabeth I

probably after William Scrots
photogravure, circa 1900-1906 (circa 1546-1547)
NPG D31842

D31843

Queen Elizabeth I

probably after William Scrots
photogravure, published 1905 (circa 1546-1547)
NPG D31843