Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits Set of Three A3 Prints
A set of three A3 prints depicting the portraiture of three of the works of art on display at the National Maritime Museum in the new exhibition, Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits.
This Henry VII print features the famous portrait of the infamous monarch King Henry VIII, studio of Hans Holbein.
A half-length, full-face portrait in a gold doublet, embroidered and slashed, a black bejewelled hat with a white feather and jewels, and a red coat with fur trimming. Round his neck he wears a pendant depicting St George and the Dragon - a motif of national identity. Henry VIII, second son of Henry VII - the founder of the Tudor dynasty - was born in the medieval palace of Placentia at Greenwich, itself completely rebuilt as Greenwich Palace by his father during his childhood.
Print image © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
The Queen Elizabeth I ('The Ditchley portrait') by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger features on the second print.
Known as the 'Ditchley Portrait', this painting was produced for Sir Henry Lee who had been the Queen's Champion from 1559-90. It probably commemorates an elaborate symbolic entertainment which Lee organised for the Queen in September 1592, and which may have been held in the grounds of Lee's house at Ditchley, near Oxford, or at the nearby palace at Woodstock.. After his retirement in 1590 Lee lived at Ditchley with his mistress Anne Vavasour. The entertainment marked the Queen's forgiveness of Lee for becoming a 'stranger lady's thrall'. The portrait shows Elizabeth standing on the globe of the world, with her feet on Oxfordshire. The stormy sky, the clouds parting to reveal sunshine, and the inscriptions on the painting, make it plain that the portrait's symbolic theme is forgiveness. The three fragmentary Latin inscriptions can be interpreted as: (left) 'She gives and does not expect'; (right) 'She can but does not take revenge', and (bottom right) 'In giving back she increases (?)'. The sonnet (right), perhaps composed by Lee, though fragmentary, can mostly be reconstructed. Its subject is the sun, symbol of the monarch.
Print image © National Portrait Gallery, London
The print of Elizabeth II features the photographic portrait Queen Elizabeth II, by Dorothy Wilding, hand-coloured by Beatrice Johnson.
Wilding first photographed the Queen as a child in 1937, at the coronation of her father King George VI. She subsequently made portraits of the Queen on numerous significant occasions. To mark her accession in 1952, the Queen posed for Wilding fifty-nine times, wearing evening gowns by Norman Hartnell. Copies of the best images were sent to every embassy in the world, formed the basis of images on bank notes and appeared on millions of stamps.
Print image © William Hustler and Georgina Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, London
Shop for sumptuous gifts inspired by the British Kings and Queens, from the Tudors to Windsors. Discover engaging books full of insightful facts about the monarchs who have shaped 500 years of British history.
Tudors to Windsors: Royal British Portraits will be at the National Maritime Museum 28 May - 31 Oct 2021. It will feature works by some of the most important artists to have worked in Britain, from court painters Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller to photographers Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz and artists such as Andy Warhol.
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