In the 19th century the Swiss historian Jacob Burkhardt (1818-1897) pioneered academic scholarship of art and cultural history, demonstrating how a knowledge of the art, literature, architecture and sculpture, politics and the social minutiae of any period would better inform students, and the public's knowledge of the past. Even today there are many who think that art… Continue reading The difficulty identifying 16th portraits of ‘Unknown Ladies & Gentlemen’
In 1492 Christopher Columbus (1451 – 1506) sailed under the Spanish flag and discovered a whole new land. Six years later the Portuguese explorer, Vasco de Gama (1460 – 1524) reached India’s Malabar coast, which had been a centre of trade between Arab and far eastern merchants for at least fifteen hundred years. Columbus’s voyage west… Continue reading Monkey business at 16th century royal courts
A recent article in various publications (including The Smithsonian magazine), looked at Franny Moyle’s suggestion that Holbein left clues regarding the identification of one of his sitters of his miniatures being of Henry VIII’s fourth wife, Anna, Duchess of Cleves. It is not the first time this possibility has been discussed. Heather Darsie describes how Anna adopted the… Continue reading How we know the Tudor Royals from 1485 – 1558; and who painted them.
Anna, Duchess of Cleves. Hans Holbein the Younger (1497 - 1543) (?). Rosenbach Museum, Philadelphia, USA. Accession Number 1954.1923. When Heather Darsie’s new consideration of Anna’s life and marriage was published in April 2019, the cover portrait (above) presented us with a completely different aspect of the duchess from the Holbein portrait that now hangs… Continue reading A Portrait of Anna, Duchess of Cleves : The King’s Beloved Sister
The Cromwell Enigma by Derek Wilson, published by MaryleboneHouse. When it comes to Thomas Cromwell (1485 – 1540), what more of an enigma can there be than the paucity of detail for the years he spent abroad prior to becoming the indispensable secretary to Cardinal Wolsey and then the man who administered the affairs of… Continue reading The Cromwell Enigma – A Review