King Henry VIII
King Henry VIII
by Unknown Anglo-Netherlandish artist
oil on panel, circa 1535-1540
23 in. x 17 1/2 in. (584 mm x 445 mm)
Given by Sir Geoffrey Langdon Keynes, 1948
This portraitback to top
Although a comparatively large number of portraits of Henry VIII survive, they are likely to represent only a fraction of those that were made in his lifetime. This portrait may have been owned by Henry's personal chaplain, Anthony de Bellasis, and would have been displayed in order to demonstrate his loyalty to the king at a time of ongoing religious and political turmoil.
The number of artists who came to England from the Netherlands had a significant impact on the technique and style of English art. For example, the paint in the collar has been particularly skilfully handled in order to evoke the delicacy of the fabric. A new frame has been made for this portrait through the support of the Leche Trust.
Linked publicationsback to top
- 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. 47
- Cooper, Tarnya; Fraser, Antonia (foreword), A Guide to Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 2012, p. 31
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 296
- Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 156
- Tarnya Cooper, Elizabeth I & Her People, 2013 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 10 October 2013 - 5 January 2014), p. 206
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered (12 September 2014 - 1 March 2015)
Events of 1535back to top
Current affairsThe former Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More is beheaded for High Treason after refusing to recognise King Henry VIII's religious supremacy.
The Bishop of Rochester John Fisher is executed on the same change.
Art and scienceThe German artist Hans Holbein the Younger paints King Henry VIII.
InternationalThe French navigator Jacques Cartier explores the sites that will become Quebec and Montreal. He names the territory Canada.
Lima in present day Peru is founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro
The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V captures the city of Tunis in present-day Tunisia from the Ottoman admiral Khair ad-Din, called Barbarossa.
See this portrait
On display in Room 1 at the National Portrait Gallery
Recommended Exhibitions & displays
- 1517: Martin Luther and the English Reformation
Until 2 December
- Making History: Printed Portraiture in Tudor and Stuart Britain
- Director's Trail by Nicholas Cullinan
- WebQuest: Henry VIII's Next Wife?
- Picturing History: A portrait set of early English kings and queens
- WebQuest: Henry VIII - Man Versus Myth
- Henry VIII Remembered
- Kings and Queens: A Family tree
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Art Conservation Project
- Tudor pick up guides
- landing banner 2
- Henry VIII and versions of the non-Holbein portraits
- Duplicate of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Art Conservation Project
- landing banner 1
- Party Trail