Paintings of Henry VIII

Paintings of Henry VIII

Young Henry exhibition

Discover the stories of the collection of paintings at Hampton Court Palace depicting Henry VIII.

The Battle of the Spurs (after 1513)
The Battle of the Spurs was the most heroic English moment in the 1513 campaign. A French cavalry force, which had come to succour the besieged town of Therouanne, suddenly found itself opposite the Anglo-Imperial army, the size and position of which it had misjudged.  Repelled by the latter’s artillery, the French turned and fled, with English and Burgundian cavalry in hot pursuit.

The Embarkation at Dover (c 1545)
The painting The Embarkation at Dover shows Henry VIII’s English fleet setting sail from Dover en route to the Field of the Cloth of Gold on 31 May 1520.

The Field of the Cloth of Gold (c 1545)
The major theme of the painting The Field of the Cloth of Gold is really ‘Magnificent Peace’, Henry VIII’s new approach after it proved too costly to go to war with France every year… not that the Field of the Cloth of Gold was a cheap affair!

The Meeting of Henry and Maximilian (c 1520)
The painting The Meeting of Henry and Maximilian depicts Henry VIII and the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I as they join forces to fight France. It shows their meeting, and the victorious results of their joint campaign: the capture of two French cities, and the defeat of the French army at the Battle of the Spurs in 1513.

The Family of Henry VII with St George (c 1505-9)
The painting The Family of Henry VII with St George (by an unknown artist) is thought to have been a royal commission of Henry VII. Its date is presumably between the birth of the King’s last child in 1505 and the death of Henry VII himself in 1509. The armour fits this date. It may have been commissioned for the royal palace at Richmond for a chapel dedicated to St George.

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