every picture tells a golden story

It can be said that the backbone of the Royal collection began with Henry VIII, though the anti-papal sentiments tended to associate art patronage with the Vatican and therefore the early works of the royals tended to anti-pope allegories mixed with portraits of English sovereigns. Almost no artists were named in the inventories of the Tudor collection.

it is possible Holbein adopted the French portrait type. Three-quarter on, both hands visible and arms that extend beyond the picture space. It is this that gives the picture such a monumental appearance and makes it look larger than it is. Henry’s eye is exactly central. he is holding a leather glove, a standard element, showing off extreme wealth but with no symbolic meaning.

---Holbein, Henry VIII (Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Madrid), c. 1530s This is a very significant portrait of Henry. It is the only Holbein to use lapis lazuli for the blue, the other use azurite (hydrated copper carbonate). Azurite turns grey-brown over centuries although some portraits, such as that of Jane Seymour have not turned grey-brown, perhaps because of the thick varnish prevented the moisture-based oxidation. The gold is powdered gold ground with oil. One suggestion is that it was an exchange of gifts with the King of France. Note that images of Henry were not sent out to prospective brides and he even refused to send portraits of his daughter Mary to foreigners, when she was looking for a husband. ----Read More:http://www.shafe.co.uk/art/tudor_06_-_henry_viii_and_royal_propaganda.asp

Even Holbein, who has been associated so long with Henry VIII, did not have a single painting owned by the King, except for the Duchess of Milan. Landscapes and biblical allegories did not exist, and what narrative there was, was centered on the portrait, demonstrations of royal bearing, and something of the strains implied therein.

---After Holbein, Henry VIII (Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome) The Rome portrait of Henry also looks out. In all known copies of the mural he looks out. A comment in the 17th century says that people felt abashed and annihilated in the presence of this mural.---Read More:http://www.shafe.co.uk/art/tudor_06_-_henry_viii_and_royal_propaganda.asp

What was interesting were the “pageant pictures” which through various transformations originating say, in Flemish painting such as Memling, then into the English “story” pictures and family narratives of a Zoffany into Frith style Derby Days and into the vast realm of sentimentality that would peak with Rockwell and Americana.

---It is this ostentatious display of wealth and power that earned the meeting-place between Francois and Henry the sobriquet "The Field of the Cloth of Gold". Journeying from Calais Henry reached his headquarters at Guines the 4 Jun 1520. The meeting lasted for three weeks (7 Jun - 24 Jun 1520), during which time each court strove to outdo the other in offering splendid entertainments and making grandiose gestures. Masterminded by the great Cardinal Wolsey, each king and Court strove to outshine the other. After Cardinal Wolsey, with a splendid train, had visited the French King, the kings first met at the Val Dor, midway between the two camps, on 7 Jun. The subsequent meetings and entertainments were conducted with much apparent cordiality, although "many persons present could not understand each other". Feasts and jousts were held, including a tilt between Henry and Francois themselves. There were processions, masques, balls, banquets, sporting events, and even fireworks. Queen Catalina sat beneath a canopy of estate entirely lined with pearls to watch her husband and King Francois joust against one another. Each day the monarchs and their entourages appeared in more sumptuous and elaborate costumes. The expense incurred by both monarchs was enormous, and put tremendous strain on the finances of each country. Henry was accompanied by 5,000 people and spent in excess of £13,000 on the splendour of the occasion.---Read More:http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/Documents/field_of_the_cloth_of_gold.htm

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