Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits

Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portaits


Publication Date: September 2018
Price: £29.95
ISBN: 978 1 85514 756 0
Format: 248 x 196mm
Illustrations: Over 150
Extent: 240pp
Binding: Hardback
Category: Art/Art History/History
Word Count: Approx 40,000 

Out of print

Introduction by Sir David Cannadine

The National Portrait Gallery, London, houses a unique collection of
British royal portraits. This publication explores five royal dynasties,
from the Tudors to the Windsors, and includes paintings and photographs
by many of the most important artists to have worked in Britain, from Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller to Sir Cecil Beaton and Mario Testino.


The Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London, embraces over 500 years of British history, more than 60,000 sitters and explores ideas of social change, power and influence. Arguably as powerful and influential as any individual are the heads of state and empire, whose portraits are among the most popular in the Gallery’s Collection.


For the exhibition that accompanies this book, the portraits of kings, queens, statesmen and stateswomen featured will go on tour for the first time, providing international audiences with the opportunity to encounter these famous historical and contemporary personalities face to face. The publication traces major events in British history and examines the ways in which royal portraiture has reflected individual sitters’ personalities and wider social, cultural and historical change. Works are arranged chronologically in sections, each of which is prefaced by an introductory text and timeline providing context to the period in question. Particularly significant portraits from each period are accompanied by extended captions that provide key information on the sitter and the artist. Tudors to Windsors also considers how each dynasty has been perceived and interpreted subsequently, with reference to popular culture and contemporary sources.

A number of features on topics such as Royal Favourites, Royal Weddings, Satire, Royals at War, and Royal Fashion and Jewellery provide insights into particular aspects of royal portraiture and trends within the genre.

The publication includes a foreword by the Gallery’s Director, a fully illustrated introductory essay discussing royal patronage and key artists in royal portraiture, and an essay by David Cannadine on the historical role of the monarchy in Britain.


Curators of the National Portrait Gallery

Sir David Cannadine is Dodge Professor of History at Princeton University, Visiting Professor of
History at Oxford University and the editor of the National Dictionary of Biography. Among his
many publications are The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy (1990) and The Undivided Past (2014). He is the general editor of The Penguin History of Britain and The Penguin History of Europe.