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Anne Wortley and Henry VIII trading places

22 September 2006 by Billy

View of Room One, Walker Art Gallery

‘Anne Wortley, Later Lady Morton’ (the portrait behind the rope above) is a new loan to the Walker Art Gallery from Tate Britain. It is a temporary replacement for our portrait of ‘Henry VIII‘ loaned to the Tate’s Holbein in England exhibition, 28 September 2006 – 7 January 2007. It has been hung in Room One of the Walker alongside Jean Clouet’s ‘Princess Marguerite of Angouleme‘ and ‘Queen Elizabeth I – The Pelican Portrait‘, attributed to Nicholas Hilliard.

The panel text that accompanies the painting states:

It portrays Anne Wortley, daughter of Sir Richard Wortley of Yorkshire, in formal dress as worn at the court of James I. It is a typical Jacobean portrait. It aims not to create a convincing idea of space, which is rather awkwardly reproduced in this portrait, but to focus in almost hypnotic detail on the elaborate costume, ruff, head-dress, jewellery and other accessories. For this reason such portraits are sometimes referred to nowadays as ‘curtains & carpets’ paintings. The different qualities of the brushwork on this portrait suggest that it was perhaps painted by several artists from one workshop, each specialising in a different area, and some trained in the Netherlands.

View an enlarged image of the painting on the Tate Collection’s website.

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