Faces of the Tudors: 16th Century Portraits with Hattie Bennett - Context Travel

Faces of the Tudors: 16th Century Portraits with Hattie Bennett


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Henry VIII's court painter, Hans Holbein captures in precise and deft sketches images of the men and women of the Henrician court, working many up into glowing painted portraits in which the faces appear as immediate as if captured in film. His image of Henry VIII is a tour-de-force in the portrayal of regal might whilst his portraits of courtiers such as Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell have biased character opinions ever since. Henry's daughter Elizabeth I carefully controlled her own image through the portrait, abandoning any realism in favor of symbolism and majesty, resulting in her portrayal as Gloriana, white-faced and stiff with symbolic jewels.

In this talk, we will explore Henry and Elizabeth's court, the wives, the suitors, the movers and shakers, heroes, and villains. We will compare how subsequent monarchs have used the portrait as propaganda whilst finally considering if portraits still have a place in the portrayal of the modern royal family.

Hattie Bennett has a degree in History of Art and an MA in Historic Interiors. After working for the Royal Collection in the Print Room at Windsor Castle, she was a curator for a private collector of 17th and 18th-century prints and drawings. This sparked a keen interest in portraiture and English art, as well as the printed image.

Hattie has a degree in History of Art and an MA in Historic Interiors, she has a life-long passion and fascination in Fine and Decorative Arts, particularly works produced in Europe from the 16th to 18th century. After working for the Royal Collection in the Print Room at Windsor Castle, she was a curator for a private collector of 17th and 18th-century prints and drawings. Hattie has worked for London's foremost framer of important old master paintings during which time she sharpened her appreciation and understanding of the decorative arts and the changing tastes of collecting. Recently she has been dealing in prints and works of art as well as taking groups of all ages to museums and galleries.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.