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Creator:
Unknown artist, sixteenth century
after Lucas de Heere, 1534–1584, Netherlandish
Title:

An Allegory of the Tudor Succession: The Family of Henry VIII

Former Title(s):

Allegory of the Tudor Succession (The Family of Henry VIII)

Date:
ca. 1590
Medium:
Oil on panel
Dimensions:
Support (PTG): 45 × 71 3/4 inches (114.3 × 182.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1974.3.7
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
allegory | brocade | child | cityscape | coat of arms | costume | family | fruit | group portrait | guards (security) | historical subject | jester | king (person) | peace | plenty | portrait | queen (person) | royalty | rug | throne | Tudor | war
Associated People:
Mary I (1516–1558), queen of England and Ireland
Edward VI (1537–1553), king of England and Ireland
Somer [Sommers], William (d. 1559), court fool
Elizabeth I (1533-1603), queen of England and Ireland
Mars
Henry VIII (1491–1547), king of England and Ireland
Philip II, king of Spain (1527–1598)
Access:
Not on view
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:168
Export:
XML

This image of the Tudor dynasty captures the revolution in church and state effected by Henry VIII. Adapted from a painting made by Lucas de Heere in around 1572, this later version by an unknown artist was made shortly after the defeat of the Spanish Armada (1588), when only Elizabeth, shown in regal splendor, was still alive. The artist compares the apparent blessings of the English Reformation with the continued threat of a supposedly alien Catholicism. Henry VIII sits on his throne and hands the sword of state, symbolic of rule, to his son and heir, Edward VI. Figures of Peace and Plenty attend his Protestant heirs Edward VI and his sister, Elizabeth I; but it is Mars, the furious god of war, who serves Catholic Mary, and her Spanish husband, Philip II. The viewer is asked to choose which is the most desirable ruler and religion for a happy and prosperous Britain.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016



Henry VIII (reigned 1509-1547) is here enthroned as king; he hands the sword of justice to his only son, the Protestant Edward VI (reigned 1547-1553). Opposite are his older sister, the Catholic Queen Mary (reigned 1553-1558) and her Catholic husband, King Philip II of Spain, accompanied by Mars, the ancient Roman god of war. On the right is the Protestant Queen Elizabeth (reigned 1558-1603), with the corresponding allegorical figures of Peace and Plenty.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2005

Margaret Aston, The king's bedpost, Reformation and iconography in a Tudor group portrait , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge [England] New York, 1993, p. 114, pl. VII, ND1314.2 (YCBA)

Ellen Chirelstein, The Allegory of the Tudor Succession, Painting in Focus, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, V 0100 (YCBA)

Linda Colley, Crown Pictorial : Art and the British Monarchy : Exhibition Labels, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1990, pp. 1-2, no. 1, , N8219 K5 C761 1990 (YCBA)

Linda Colley, Crown Pictorial : Art and the British Monarchy, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1990, pp. 6-7, 25, no. 1, fig, no. 1, N8219 K5 C76 1990 (YCBA)

Malcolm Cormack, A Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 28-29, N590.2 A83 (YCBA)

Emma Brocklehurst Dent, Annals of Winchcombe and Sudeley, J. Murray, London, 1877, pp. 230-232, DA690 W64 +D45 (YCBA)

Martina Droth, Britain in the world: Highlights from the Yale Center for British Art in honor of Amy Meyers, Yale University Press, New Haven, London, p. 20, N6761 .Y33 2019 (LC) (YCBA)

Karen Hearn, Dynasties, painting in Tudor and Jacobean England, 1530-1630 , Tate Publishing, London, 1995, p. 82, N6765 D95 1995 + (YCBA)

Lisa Hopkins, In a Little Room : Marlowe and the Allegory of the Tudor Succession, Notes and Queries, v. 53, no. 4, December 2006, pp. 442-44, A88 122 (SML)

Kathryn James, English Paleography and Manuscript Culture, 1500-1800, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New Haven, p. 200, fig. 256, Z115.E5 J36 2020+ (YCBA)

Christopher Lloyd, Henry VIII, images of a Tudor king , Phaidon Press, Oxford, 1991, no. 55, N7628 H5 L56 1990 (YCBA)

Michael Roulstone, Sudeley Castle, Garrod Status Ltd., London, 1974, p. 4, V 1866 (YCBA)

Roy C. Strong, The English icon, Elizabethan & Jacobean portraiture , Paul Mellon Foundation for British Art, London New York, 1969, p. 140, no. 95, ND1314 S77 + (YCBA)

Sudeley Castle : A Thousand Years of English History, Jarrold & Sons Ltd, Great Britain, 1987, V 0105 (YCBA)

Sudeley Castle, Hourds Marketing Ltd., London, 1977, pp. 10-11, V 1865 (YCBA)

Ian Tyers, The tree-ring analysis of 23 panel paintings from the Yale Center for British Art , New Haven, dendrochronological consultancy report 470 , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2011, p. 15, 16, 17, 22, 32-38, 62, figs, 11 and 17, CC78.3 .T94 2011


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