by Unknown artist
oil on panel, 1589-1595, based on a work of 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 37 portraits.
This portraitback to top
All surviving portraits of Wolsey derive from the same pattern, which depicts him wearing cardinal's robes and holding a scroll. This version was commissioned by Ralph Sheldon as part of a set of portraits of his house in Warwickshire in around 1520.
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
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1520back to top
Current affairsThe 'Field of Cloth of Gold' - an elaborately staged meeting between the courts of King Henry VIII and Francis I of France takes place near Calais.
Art and scienceThe German gunsmith Gaspard Kotter invents rifling in the barrels of firearms, improving their range and accuracy.
InternationalThe German Protestant reformer Martin Luther publicly burns the Papal bull Exsurge Domine (Arise, O Lord), written in response to his 95 Theses. Luther is subsequently excommunicated.
The Stockholm Bloodbath - Danish troops massacre Swedish nobles and churchmen opposed to the rule of Christian II of Denmark.
Death of Selim I and succession of Suleiman I as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
See this portrait
On display in Room 1 at the National Portrait Gallery
Exhibitions and displays
- Framing the Face: Collars and Ruffs
Until 16 July
- Life, Death and Memory
Until 16 March 2018
- Reproducing Fame: Printmakers and the Nineteenth Century Stage
Until 31 July