This accessible and visually stunning guide puts Tudor and Jacobean portraits into historical context. Many of these important works are in museums and country houses across the UK, and this introductory guide invites the reader to look afresh and to understand why and how they were created. Author Tarnya Cooper discusses key surviving works, including those of Henry VIII, Catherine Parr, Walter Ralegh, Elizabeth I and James I. She explains why portraiture thrived during this period and why, with the declining demand for religious paintings in Northern Europe, emigrant artists such as Hans Holbein the Younger came to England to seek a new market.With lively engaging text and a dynamic design, the guide is organized thematically: the themes include costume and portraiture, pictures with stories to tell, monarchy, family portraits and artists and techniques. A visual timeline is included to show at a glimpse the major developments in portraiture during this period. Tarnya Cooper also includes some surprisingly beautiful technical pictures from her latest research, making her expert knowledge accessible and fascinating.
Aimed to have widespread appeal to readers of all ages, Antonia Fraser's foreword shows how portraiture illuminates history and brings it to life. As Britain moved away from being just a small part of Catholic Christendom and established itself as a Protestant country, with the monarch as the head of the Church, the individual became increasingly important. This guide shows not only how people chose to present themselves, but also introduces their fascinating lives and times.
Tarnya Cooper is Curator of Sixteenth-century Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery. She co-curated the exhibition Elizabeth at the National Maritime Museum, and curated Searching for Shakespeare at the National Portrait Gallery.