'Henry the Eighth I am, I am'

MFI23660 Western Facade (photo) (see also 58475) Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK/ Mark Fiennes
MFI23660 Western Facade (photo) (see also 58475) Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK/ Mark Fiennes

BAL8069 Man clasping hand from a cloud, possibly William Shakespeare, 1588 by Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619)</BR>Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
BAL8069 Man clasping hand from a cloud, possibly William Shakespeare, 1588 by Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619)
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

WGL44897 Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603): The Pelican Portrait, c.1574 (oil on panel) by Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619)</BR>Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool
WGL44897 Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603): The Pelican Portrait, c.1574 (oil on panel) by Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619)
Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool

The Tudors, like all royal families, inherited and commissioned an impressive number of houses and properties in England. Bridgeman Art Library represents many collections rich in English architectural history. Take a look at photographer Mark Fiennes' collection of English and European artifacts, paintings and decorative arts, including photographs of many wonderful examples of Elizabethan architecture.  Hever Castle, Anne Boleyn's family home, is another great resource for Tudor era architecture and artifacts. The National Trust Photographic Library is an excellent archive of English historic properties, paintings and artifacts, including many from the 15th and 16th centuries.

MFI23746 View of Nonsuch in Surrey, 1568 (w/c on paper) by Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600) Private Collection/ Mark Fiennes
MFI23746 View of Nonsuch in Surrey, 1568 (w/c on paper) by Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600) Private Collection/ Mark Fiennes

YBA235982 Portrait of a Lady, possibly Lady Jane Grey, c.1545-47 (bodycolour on card) by Lievine Teerlink (b.1510-20, d.1576) (attr. to) Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, USA
YBA235982 Portrait of a Lady, possibly Lady Jane Grey, c.1545-47 (bodycolour on card) by Lievine Teerlink (b.1510-20, d.1576) (attr. to) Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, USA

BAL99915 Portrait of Mary I or Mary Tudor (1516-58), daughter of Henry VIII, at the Age of 28, 1544 (panel) by Master John (fl.1544) National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
BAL99915 Portrait of Mary I or Mary Tudor (1516-58), daughter of Henry VIII, at the Age of 28, 1544 (panel) by Master John (fl.1544) National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

This month we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's accession to the throne of England. Henry's reign was second in a period of Tudor rule that lasted for 120 years.

Fortunately, there exists a visual record of the Tudor period as seen through the eyes of the court artists. Celebrated portrait artists such as Hans Holbein the Younger, Lucas Horenbout and Nicholas Hilliard paint a vivid picture of the people, costume and pageantry of the era.

View images by Tudor court artists

BAL72719 The Family of Henry VIII: An Allegory of the Tudor Succession, c.1570-75 (panel) by Lucas de Heere (1534-84)/ Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, UK
BAL72719 The Family of Henry VIII: An Allegory of the Tudor Succession, c.1570-75 (panel) by Lucas de Heere (1534-84)/ Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, UK

XJL62067 Portrait of Edward VI as a child, c.1538 (oil on panel) by Hans the Younger Holbein (1497/8-1543)</BR>National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA
XJL62067 Portrait of Edward VI as a child, c.1538 (oil on panel) by Hans the Younger Holbein (1497/8-1543)
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA

BAL5531 Portrait of Erasmus (1466/9-1536) 1523 (oil and egg tempera on panel) by Hans the Younger Holbein (1497/8-1543) Private Collection
BAL5531 Portrait of Erasmus (1466/9-1536) 1523 (oil and egg tempera on panel) by Hans the Younger Holbein (1497/8-1543) Private Collection


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