Friday, June 23, 2023

Those Tudors --- Days 177 & 178

Walks: Legion of Honor (tour with friends), Legion of Honor (Press Preview)
Distances: 3 miles, 2.5 miles

After Hans Holbein the Younger, Portrait of Henry VIII , after 1537, o/c
(age ca.46) 

Since the portrait above or something similar is the way Ciwt has always seen England's Henry VIII (1491-1547) portrayed, she was very surprised today to encounter this portrait of him as a young man.

Meynnart Wewyck, Portrait of Henry VIII, ca 1509, oil on wood
(age ca 19)

And knowing mostly about Henry's misadventures with his six wives, she was also interested to learn that Henry actually was a Renaissance man.  In his youth he was athletic and highly intelligent.  A contemporary observer said of him "he speaks good French, Latin and Spanish, is very religious hearing three masses daily when he hunts...He is extremely fond of hunting and also fond of tennis."
She also learned to her surprise that he wrote both books (including a best seller condemning Martin Luther) and music, was an accomplished player of many instruments and was a lavish patron of the arts.

That last, his arts patronage, would likely be the thing he's most remembered for, if not for his fight with the Catholic Church and treatment of all those wives.  He actively recruited and patronized the most talented and avant garde artists from all over Europe to see to it that the English arts were so magestically exceptional they empowered his dynasty, the Tudors, within his country and throughout the world.  

So where did Ciwt learn all this new information about Henry VIII and the distinctive art and visual propaganda that was central to the splendor and drama of the Tudor court?  This was at the Press Preview of the Legion of Honor's show The Tudors: Art and Majesty and Renaissance EnglandIt opens in a couple of days with a full complement of sumptuous paintings, precious jewels, rich tapestries and rare artifacts. The short, impactful, highly dramatic Tudor dynasty is brought vividly to life well beyond Hollywood movies and TV productions.  Stay tuned .....


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