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Items tagged with: Power

Oliver Bender
2 months ago

On the Tudors and the first forms of PR


One such portrait, by German master and Henry’s official painter Hans Holbein the Younger, features in a new exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery in Victoria which examines the power of official royal likenesses. The king’s steely expression in the picture is inescapable, the jewels with which he is adorned and the finery of his clothes speak to an imposing figure with ultimate power.

It was one of Holbein’s portraits of Henry VIII – a commanding, full-body portrait that was later lost, though copies of it still exist – that radically transformed what the royal portrait could be. Until the mid-15th century, portraits didn’t look at all like their subjects, but as England embraced the Renaissance, portraiture evolved too.

These portraits, showing a happy, apparently perfect nuclear family, helped to shape the royal family – as opposed to just the monarch herself – as a highly visible, marketable concept. That concept continues today, especially with prin... show more
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