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

HEERE, Lucas de (1534 - 1584)

[image: The Family of Henry VIII: an Allegory of the Tudor Succession]

Media: oil on panel

Size: 131.2 x 184.0 cm

Acquired: 1991; Gift; Accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of inheritance tax

Accession Number: NMW A 564

[image: Buy a print]

This picture celebrates the harmony established by Queen Elizabeth I. Elizabeth is on the right, holding the hand of Peace and followed by Plenty. Her father Henry VIII, the founder of the Church of England, sits on his throne, and passes the sword of justice to his Protestant son Edward VI. On the left are Elizabeth’s Catholic half-sister and predecessor Mary I and her husband Philip II of Spain, with Mars, the God of War. The picture, a gift from Queen Elizabeth to Sir Francis Walsingham, exemplifies the 16th century's fascination with allegory, the Queen's vision of herself as the culmination of the Tudor dynasty and her concern with the legitimacy of her regime.

Lucas de Heere came to London from Ghent in the late 1560s, one of many Flemish Protestant artists and craftspeople to flee religious persecution. This painting was accepted under the 'in lieu in situ scheme'. It was purchased by J.C.Dent at the sale of the collection of Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill, in 1842.

6 comments

Aamiya on 29 September 2014, 18:48

What is the treaty of blios?

Amgueddfa Cymru on 31 July 2013, 10:59

Hi Genevieve

The painting was probably given to Sir Francis Walsingham after his involvement in the Treaty of Blois, which occurred in 1572. It would therefore have been painted that year, or soon after.

The imagery also seems appropriate to this event, associating Elizabeth’s reign with the figures of Peace and Plenty. Peace treads the weapons of war beneath her feet.

Elizabeth’s predecessor Mary and husband King Phillip II of Spain, however, are attended by Mars, God of War.

Amgueddfa Cymru on 31 July 2013, 10:58

Hi Genevieve

The painting was probably given to Sir Francis Walsingham after his involvement in the Treaty of Blois, which occurred in 1572. It would therefore have been painted that year, or soon after.

The imagery also seems appropriate to this event, associating Elizabeth’s reign with the figures of Peace and Plenty. Peace treads the weapons of war beneath her feet.

Elizabeth’s predecessor Mary and husband King Phillip II of Spain, however, are attended by Mars, God of War.

Genevieve on 28 July 2013, 14:42

I was just wondering whether you knew when Lucas de Heere painted this portrait? Also, do you know the significance of having Roman gods included in the painting?

Amgueddfa Cymru on 14 December 2010, 14:22

Dear Hilde, thank you for your comment. I have forwarded it to our Image Licensing Officer who will be in touch regarding use of this picture.
Thank you for your interest in Amgueddfa Cymru.
Graham Davies
Curator, Rhagor.

Hilde R. Johnsrud on 14 December 2010, 14:19

The Norwegian Book Clubs are presenting David Starkeys biography of Elizabeth as our main selection, and we're wondering whether it'd be possible to use this picture in connection with the book?
We will of course print due credit and we can pay up to 250 (high res version).
Please contact me at hilde.r.johnsrud@bokklubben.no

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