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King Edward VI

4 of 47 portraits of King Edward VI

King Edward VI

by Workshop associated with 'Master John'
oil on panel, circa 1547
61 1/4 in. x 32 in. (1556 mm x 813 mm)
Purchased, 1982
Primary Collection
NPG 5511


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  • King Edward VI (1537-1553), Reigned 1547-53. Sitter associated with 47 portraits.

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Edward's wide-legged pose mimics that of his father Henry VIII in the Whitehall Cartoon. X-ray analysis has revealed that originally he had an even wider stance but the artist altered the position of Edward's right foot during the painting process, possibly because the pose may have looked strange for such a young boy. The coat of arms was also added late in the painting process, which may indicate that the portrait was begun while Edward was prince and completed after he became king.

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Current affairs

Death of King Henry VIII and the coronation of King Edward VI, aged nine. Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset is appointed Lord Protector.
Parliament repeals the Act of Six Articles of Religion, 1539. The English Reformation becomes more Protestant.
The Abolition of Chantries Acts (1545 and 1547) dissolve over 2,000 chapels which had held masses for the dead.

Art and science

The Book of Homilies is published to promote preaching in English.
Full-length portrait of King Edward VI is painted the Dutch artist William Scrots.
Somerset House is constructed in London for Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset.

International

The Battle of Mühlberg - the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V defeats the Protestant Schmalkaldic League.
Death of Francis I of France and accession of Henri II.
Coronation of Ivan IV of Russia (the Terrible), the first ruler of Russia to assume the title Tsar.

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