The Lumley portrait of King Edward VI, as Prince of Wales

Follower of: Hans Holbein The Younger
circa 1497 – 1543

The Lumley portrait of King Edward VI, as Prince of Wales

Painted circa 1542

22 3/8 x 17 3/16 inches, 55.9 x 42.9 cm

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Provenance

  • with The Weiss Gallery, 1998, sold to
  • Private collection.

This rare portrait is one of the few surviving of the young king painted during his lifetime and towards the end of his brief life. It has added significance as it once formed part of the prestigious art collection of the politician John, 1st Lord Lumley (c.1538 - 1609), and as such it also sheds light on an important chapter in the history of collecting in 16th century Britain.

The painted cartellino corresponds to a type of trompe l’oeil label that was added on the instructions of Lord Lumley about 1590 to identify the portraits of his large art collection. Lumley owned two portraits of Edward VI. One, which is listed in the inventory as ‘statuary’, i.e. full length, is now in the Royal Collection. The second, which is probably our portrait, is listed in the inventory amongst those ‘of a smaller scantlinge’ and must have left the Lumley collection in the eighteenth or nineteenth century when there were several dispersals.

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