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King Edward VI and the Pope

1 of 15 portraits of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset

King Edward VI and the Pope, by Unknown artist, circa 1575 - NPG 4165 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

King Edward VI and the Pope

by Unknown artist
oil on panel, circa 1575
24 1/2 in. x 35 3/4 in. (622 mm x 908 mm)
Purchased, 1960
Primary Collection
NPG 4165

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The painting was probably produced between 1568 and 1571, to commemorate the anti-papal policies of Edward VI and to celebrate the successful re-establishment of the Church of England under Elizabeth I. This painting shows Henry VIII on his deathbed (left), pointing towards his successor Edward VI. To the right of Edward are members of his council including the Protector, Lord Somerset, and John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. In the inset (top right) is a scene of the destruction of holy images, and below Edward, the Pope is crushed by 'the worde of the Lord' - written in English. The blank white spaces may have been intended for further anti-Catholic inscriptions.
Conservation of this painting was supported by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project.

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