Katherine Parr

1 portrait on display in Room 1 at the National Portrait Gallery

Katherine Parr, attributed to Master John, circa 1545 - NPG 4451 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Katherine Parr

attributed to Master John
oil on panel, circa 1545
71 in. x 37 in. (1803 mm x 940 mm)
Purchased with help from the Gulbenkian Foundation, 1965
Primary Collection
NPG 4451

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Sitterback to top

  • Katherine Parr (1512-1548), Sixth Queen of Henry VIII. Sitter in 9 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Master John (active 1544-1545). Artist associated with 3 portraits.

This portraitback to top

For a time the sitter in this painting was thought to be Lady Jane Grey. However, there is considerable evidence to support the traditional identification as Katherine Parr, including the distinctive crown-shaped brooch, which can be identified in an inventory of jewels belonging to the queen. In this painting the artist used a complex system of silver and gold leaf, glazes and oil pigment to imitate the luxurious cloth of the queen's costume.

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1545back to top

Current affairs

The French fleet makes an invasion attempt on England. The pride of the English fleet, the Mary Rose warship is sunk during the engagement with the French, killing over seven hundred men.

Art and science

The artist John Bettes the Elder paints A Man in a Black Cap. The artist's nationality is emphasized in the inscription faict par Johan Bettes Anglois (made by John Bettes, Englishman). The Dutch artist William Scrots arrives in England and becomes the principal court painter. The first botanical garden in Europe is established in the University of Padua.


The Council of Trent convenes. Summoned by Pope Paul III and running until 1563, the council reasserts the doctrines of the Catholic Church in answer to the Protestant Reformation. It is one of the principal events of the Counter-Reformation.

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