by Unknown artist
oil on panel, late 16th century (circa 1520)
33 in. x 22 in. (838 mm x 559 mm) arched top
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Thomas Wolsey (1470 or 1471-1530), Cardinal and statesman. Sitter associated with 36 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait shows Wolsey at the height of his power. Wearing the scarlet robes of a cardinal, in one hand he grips a staff topped by a crown and in the other he holds a piece of paper. These attributes serve to indicate that he is both the king's servant and a man of business. This is the only known contemporary painted portrait of Wolsey; it may be that other portraits were destroyed after his fall from the king's favour in 1529 for having failed to obtain Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Bolland, Charlotte; Cooper, Tarnya, The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered, 2014 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12th September 2014 to 1st March 2015), p. 38
- Cooper, John, Visitor's Guide, 2000, p. 15
- John Cooper, National Portrait Gallery Visitor's Guide, 2006, p. 15
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 675
- Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 129,335