King Henry IV
10 of 30 portraits of King Henry IV
King Henry IV
probably by Renold or Reginold Elstrack (Elstracke)
line engraving, 1618; published 1638
6 5/8 in. x 4 3/8 in. (168 mm x 111 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1869
Artistback to top
- Renold or Reginold Elstrack (Elstracke) (1570-in or after 1625), Engraver. Artist associated with 152 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This likeness of Henry IV is fictional. The costume and composition derive from an engraved portrait of Henry’s contemporary, Charles VI of France, whilst the face may relate to Henry’s tomb effigy in Canterbury Cathedral. Portraits of historical figures were often made by drawing on antiquarian sources such as coins and tomb monuments, in order to try to capture a ‘true likeness’. These images would then become standardised through the production of multiple copies and, as a result, fictional designs could become recognisable and gain acceptance as ‘authentic’ likenesses.
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1638back to top
Current affairsAmid turmoil in Scotland against Charles I's attempt to impose an episcopalian system of church government and Book of Common Prayer, theologian Alexander Henderson and politician Archibald Johnston of Wariston, defiantly draw up a new national covenant, whereby its signatories reaffirm their Presbyterian discipline.
Art and sciencePolitical agitator, John Lilburne, is imprisoned for distributing unlicensed satirical pamphlets against episcopacy.
Luminalia by dramatist Sir William Davenant, is performed by Queen Henrietta Maria and her Ladies-in-Waiting. With designs by Inigo Jones, it was one of the last and most spectacular masques staged at the Stuart Court.
InternationalLord High Chancellor Oxenstierna, head of the regency council ruling Sweden until the young Queen Kristina came of age, agrees the Treaty of Hamburg, renewing Sweden's alliance with France. Under its terms, in exchange for financial assistance from France, Sweden continued its military contribution in the Thirty years' War.
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