Katherine of Aragon
2 of 16 portraits of Katherine of Aragon
Katherine of Aragon
attributed to Lucas Horenbout (or Hornebolte)
watercolour on vellum, circa 1525
1 1/2 in. (38 mm) diameter
Sitterback to top
- Katherine of Aragon (1485-1536), First Queen of Henry VIII. Sitter associated with 16 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Lucas Horenbout (or Hornebolte) (circa 1490-1544), The 'King's Painter', court miniaturist to Henry VIII. Artist associated with 3 portraits.
This portraitback to top
The Latin inscription signifies 'Katherine, his wife', and suggests that this miniature was a pair with one of Henry VIII. She wears a jewelled cross and a brooch with the letters IHS, the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 109
- Walker, Richard, Miniatures: 300 Years of the English Miniature, 1998, p. 18 Read entry
The youngest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, Catherine married (in 1501) Arthur, Prince of Wales, who died the following year. In 1509 she married his younger brother, Henry VIII, and became the mother of Mary I. In 1533, Henry, longing for a male heir, divorced her, with historic consequences.
The tradition of miniature portrait painting in England starts at the court of Henry VIII, though of course the art had been known long before, in the illumination of medieval manuscripts. It was brought to London by the Fleming Lucas Horenbout. Henry's enthusiasm for Horenbout attracted the attention of one of the greatest of European artists, Hans Holbein, who visited England between 1526 and 1528, and then again for a longer period, 1532-43.
Events of 1525back to top
Current affairsThe Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey gives Hampton Court Palace, completed in 1516, as a gift to Henry VIII.
Art and scienceThe New Testament is translated into English by William Tyndale.
InternationalThe Battle of Pavia - Francis I of France is defeated and captured by the forces of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He is imprisoned and forced to sign the humiliating Treaty of Madrid.
The Peasants' War in German ends with the lords defeat of the rebel peasants at the Battle of Frankenhausen and the execution of the revolutionary preacher Thomas Müntzer.