The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered

12 September 2014 - 1 March 2015

Room 1, 2 and 3

Free

Henry VIII by Studio of Hans Holbein the Younger, 1540-1550 © National Trust images/Derrick E. Witty

Henry VIII
by Studio of Hans Holbein the Younger, 1540-1550
© National Trust images/Derrick E. Witty

This special display, focusing on the portraiture of the Tudor monarchs, will allow visitors to rediscover these well-known kings and queens through the most complete presentation of their images staged to date.

Works from the Gallery’s Collection will be presented alongside exceptional loans and a prized possession of each monarch, as well as recent research undertaken as part of the Making Art in Tudor Britain project, to help visitors understand how and why such images were made.

The display includes the Gallery’s oldest portrait, that of Henry VII, which will be displayed with a Book of Hours inscribed by the king to his daughter; six portraits of Henry VIII, including a full-length portrait from Petworth House in Sussex, together with his rosary; portraits of Edward VI and a page from his diary in which he reports his father’s death; five portraits of Mary I combined with her Prayer Book loaned from Westminster Cathedral; and several portraits of Elizabeth I displayed alongside her locket ring. The search for a ‘real’ portrait of Lady Jane Grey in the sixteenth century will also be discussed through the display of a commemorative portrait of Jane that dates from the Elizabethan period.

A beautifully illustrated catalogue with over fifty reproduced portraits, and including the findings from recent technical analysis, is available from Gallery Shops and npg.org.uk/shop

£15, paperback

Further information on the findings from the Making Art in Tudor Britain project – including new research on over seventy Tudor and Jacobean portraits – is available online here

Following its London run The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered will form the core of a larger exhibition organised in partnership with Réunion des Musées Nationaux – Grand Palais at the Musée du Luxembourg, Paris, in 2015.