Myth and Memory in Representations of Henry VIII, 1509–2009


in Tudorism

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264942
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754111 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Myth and Memory in Representations of Henry VIII, 1509–2009

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter explores a portrait of King Henry VIII that has played a key role in sustaining and inflecting received notions of the Tudor age in the post-Tudor period. It argues that almost without exception the Tudorist visual representations of King Henry VIII from the mid-sixteenth to the twenty-first century derive their communicative force from, and were indeed only made possible because of, the existence of an extraordinarily compelling and efficacious point of origin. The portrait of Henry VIII that set this cascade of information, ideas, and associations about the king in motion was the full-length portrait from the Whitehall Mural, painted by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497–1543) in 1537.

Keywords: portraits; King Henry VIII; Tudor age; Hans Holbein; Whitehall Mural

Chapter.  7833 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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