King Henry VIII
King Henry VIII
by Unknown artist
oil on panel, perhaps early 17th century, based on a work of circa 1542
35 in. x 26 1/4 in. (889 mm x 667 mm)
This portraitback to top
With the possible exception of his daughter Elizabeth I, no monarch has matched Henry VIII's ability to control his public image and impose it on posterity. This is a version of a late portrait of the King, showing him towards the end of his life.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Gittings, Clare, The National Portrait Gallery Book of The Tudors, 2006, p. 7
- MacLeod, Catherine, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection at Montacute House, 1999, p. 8
- Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 29
- Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 41
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 297
- Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 157
- Williamson, David, Kings and Queens, 2010, p. 92
- Williamson, David, The National Portrait Gallery: History of the Kings and Queens of England, 1998, p. 89
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1542back to top
Current affairsCatherine Howard is beheaded for committing adultery.
Relations between King Henry VIII and his nephew King James V of Scotland worsen. An English raid is defeated at Hadden Rig in August. The Scottish counter-attack is routed at Solway Moss in November.
Princess Mary Stuart is born to King James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise. She becomes queen of Scotland six days later upon the death of her father.
Art and scienceAt about this date, the Welsh physician and mathematician Robert Recorde publishes The Grounde of Artes, the first mathematics book to be printed in English.
InternationalPope Paul III establishes the Inquisition in Rome to investigate and prosecute those accused of heresy against Catholic orthodoxy. It is primarily concerned with halting the spread of Protestantism.
The Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier sails arrives in Goa in South India. He will introduce Christianity to India, Southeast Asia and Japan and is considered the most successful Catholic missionary.
Exhibitions and displays
- Life, Death and Memory
Until 4 February 2018
- Henry VIII Remembered
- WebQuest: Henry VIII's Next Wife?
- WebQuest: Henry VIII - Man Versus Myth
- Picturing History: A portrait set of early English kings and queens
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Art Conservation Project
- Tudor pick up guides
- Director's Trail by Nicholas Cullinan
- Kings and Queens: A Family tree
- Return to Life: A New Look at the Portrait Bust
- Portrait of the Day: Henry VIII & Katherine of Aragon
17 December, 12:30
Tell us more
Help us conserve a portrait of a female adventurer, poet and medical pioneer