Theme 4: Cultural changes - Developments in Art

  • Created by: f_grant
  • Created on: 19-05-19 15:26

Solomon and The Queen of Sheba 1534

  • Hans Holbein - Henry's court painter
  • Visual representation of the Act of Supremacy - protecting the image of kingship and the dynasty.
  • Howarth - Henry's personal involvement in commissioning images. Holbein reduced artistic ambitions to come to England.
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The Great Picture at Whitehall 1537

  • Part of a cartooon for large mural destroyed by fire - displayed the Tudor family. Henry's image changed in the final version.
  • Believed to be comissioned after the death of Jane Seymour
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Princess Elizabeth 1546

  • William Scrots - artist diplomat who served Henry and Edward. Dutch.
  • Shows Elizabeth 'on the verge of her sexual potential'.
  • Shown with books
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Edward VI 1550

  • William Scrots
  • Commissioned as diplomatic gift or possible marriage portrait
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Mary Tudor 1554

  • Similar to paintings of popes.
  • 3/4 angle - eyes follow you around the room
  • Howarth - clear daughter of Henry VIII
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Edward VI and the Pope

  • Dedicated to Elizabeth as form of petition to prevent the Anjou marriage. 
  • Elizabeth unlikely to be given the painting
  • Similar to some depictions of the last supper
  • Example of an allegorical painting
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Importance of miniatures

  • Introduced to England in Henry's reign but mostly associated with Elizabeth
  • Nicholas Hilliard - small oval miniatures of members of the Queen's courts as well as the of the queen herself
  • Highly ornate work requiring great skill using a squirrel hair brush


  • private devotional objects and very expensive
  • importance overstated as a cultural item
  • common folk more likely to own medals of the queen
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Portraits of Elizabeth

  • 1563 - proclamation dictates only production of 'official' or approved portraits of the queen
  • 1596 - PC ordered destruction of offensive images
  • Used the 'mask of youth' - template for all official portartes. Little resemblance to her actual face
  • Motto of 'Semper eadem' - always the same. Myth of an unchanging regime.
  • Portraits very symbolic and full of icons
    • Cult of the virgin turned from weakness to a strength
    • Considered inferior to continental painting. Reflection of conservatie and isolationist English culture at the time.
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