A display of artwork from Henry VIII's court, including works by Holbein

Nicholas Hilliard's Henry VIII

Later this year, more than 100 pieces of art from King Henry VIII's court will be displayed in the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

The exhibition will feature the Royal Collection's largest collection of Hans Holbein the Younger artwork in 30 years.

The most important artist in Tudor England, the artist painted for Henry VIII.

After the artist passed away in 1543 from the plague, it is believed that the king acquired the portraits.

Henry, his six wives, and other historical figures like Sir Thomas More all had iconic portraits created by Holbein.

A Holbein sketch of Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn as drawn by Holbein.

The German painter visited England twice during his lifetime, where he observed and created portraits of the Tudor court.

He was employed by Thomas Cromwell and Anne Boleyn when he came back a second time. He became the King's Painter in 1535.

William Reskimer, painted by Holbein
At Henry VIII's court, William Reskimer held a number of positions, including page of the bedchamber, as depicted by Holbein.

In Holbein At The Tudor Court, his court experience in the first half of the 16th century will be highlighted. The artist's creations will include paintings, drawings, miniatures, and book illustrations.

In addition to the finished paintings, the exhibition will also include 40 preliminary portrait drawings.

A drawing of Anne Boleyn's cousin Mary Shelton, later Lady Heveningham, and her lady-in-waiting is one of them. She may have been a mistress of the king and was friends with poets like Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.

Mary Shelton (later Lady Heveningham) in a sketch by Holbein
At court, there were rumors that the king's mistress was Mary Shelton (later Lady Heveningham).

His exquisite drawings and paintings were created using methods he had learned as an apprentice, but Kate Heard, the exhibition's curator, said: "His impressive skill with these traditional materials saw him celebrated by contemporaries, as he is still celebrated today. ".

The exhibition will also include works by Hans Eworth, who painted Elizabeth I and the Three Goddesses, and William Scrots, who painted Elizabeth I and Edward VI.

The artwork will be on display at Buckingham Palace's Queen's Gallery from 10 November 2023 to 14 April 2024.

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