The Tudors

Publications production manager Peter Antony revels in the drama running throughout the history of the Tudors.

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It's risky to judge a medieval or early Renaissance family by modern psychotherapeutic standards, but they seem to me to have been extremely dysfunctional.

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  • Peter Antony
    1280852
  • Portrait of a Noblewoman  |  late 16th century  |  British Painter  |  Oil on wood  |  Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1911 (11.149.1)
    8181024
  • Armor of George Clifford, Third Earl of Cumberland  |  ca. 1580–85  |  Made in the Royal Workshops  |  English (Greenwich)  |  Steel, etched, blued, and gilded  |  Munsey Fund, 1932 (32.130.6)
    8141024
  • The Last Supper, from a set of four tapestries of the Passion, known as the Alba Passion  |  ca. 1520–30  |  Bernaert van Orley (Flemish); Probably designed by Pieter de Pannemaker (Flemish)  |  Wool, silk, and silver-gilt thread  |  Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.1915)
    9581024
  • Margaret More (1505–1544), Wife of William Roper  |  1535–36  |  Hans Holbein the Younger (German)  |  Vellum laid on playing card  |  Rogers Fund, 1950 (50.69.2)
    10271024
  • Groat of Henry VII (1485–1509)  |  early 16th century  |  English  |  Silver  |  Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ada Peluso, and Romano I. Peluso, in memory of Ignazio Peluso, 2001 (2001.432.8)
    10411024
  • Testoon of Henry VIII (third coinage)  |  1509–47  |  English (London)  |  Silver  |  Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso, 2007 (2007.160.6)
    10801024
  • Half Groat of Henry VIII (1509-1547)  |  1544–47  |  English  |  Silver  |  Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ada Peluso, and Romano I. Peluso, in memory of Ignazio Peluso, 2001 (2001.432.9)
    10581024
  • Armor of King Henry VIII, King of England  |  ca. 1544  |  Italian  |  Steel, blackened, etched, and gilt; textile and leather  |  Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1932 (32.130.7a–l)
    5831024
  • Pair of gloves  |  ca. 1600  |  English  |  Leather; satin worked with silk and metal thread, seed pearls; satin, couching, and darning stitches; metal bobbin lace; paper  |  Gift of Mrs. Edward S. Harkness, 1928 (28.220.7,.8)
    10331024
  • Edward VI (1537–1553), When Duke of Cornwall  |  Workshop of Hans Holbein the Younger (English, after 1543)  |  Oil on wood  |  The Jules Bache Collection, 1949 (49.7.31)
    10201024
  • Mary I, Queen of England  |  1600–27  |  Francis Delaram (British)  |  Engraving; first state  |  The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1956 (56.613)
    6081024
  • Philip II of Spain  |  16th century  |  Pompeo Leoni (Italian)  |  Marble  |  Bequest of Annie C. Kane, 1926 (26.260.91)
    8611024
  • Elizabeth I of England (1533–1603)  |  ca. 1570–1600  |  Probably Italian  |  Onyx and gold  |  The Milton Weil Collection, 1938 (38.150.32)
    1280936
  • Queen Elizabeth I of England  |  late 16th–mid 17th century  |  Anonymous (French)  |  Engraving  |  Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1917 (17.3.756–1618)
    7391024
  • Portrait of a Young Man, Probably Robert Devereux (1566–1601), Second Earl of Essex  |  1588  |  Nicholas Hilliard (British)  |  Vellum laid on card  |  Fletcher Fund, 1935 (35.89.4)
    8001024
  • Mary, Queen of Scots, with Her Son, James  |  19th century  |  English Painter  |  Oil on slate  |  Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.2)
    8971024
  • Portrait of a Man in a Red Cap  |  ca. 1534  |  Hans Holbein the Younger (German)  |  Oil on wood  |  Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness, 1950 (50.145.24)
    10081024
  • Woman's jacket  |  ca. 1616  |  English  |  Linen worked with silk and metal thread, spangles; detached buttonhole variations, wrapped ladder stitch, straight, knot, chain, and satin stitches, metal bobbin lace  |  Rogers Fund, 1925 (23.170.1)
    8941024
  • Doll Tearsheet, Falstaff, Henry and Poins (Shakespeare's Second Part of King Henry the Fourth, Act II, Scene IV)  |  1795  |  William Satchwell Leney (American); Henry Fuseli (Johan Heinrich Füssli) (Swiss)  |  Published by John & Josiah Boydell, London  |  Stipple engraving  |  Gertrude and Thomas Jefferson Mumford Collection, Gift of Dorothy Quick Mayer, 1942 (42.119.534)
    7411024
  • Thomas Wriothesley (1505–1550), First Earl of Southampton  |  ca. 1535  |  Hans Holbein the Younger (German)  |  Vellum laid on card  |  Rogers Fund, 1925 (25.205)
    8411024
  • Lady Lee (Margaret Wyatt, born about 1509)  |  possibly ca. 1540  |  Copy after Hans Holbein the Younger (English, 16th century)  |  Oil on wood  |  Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.637)
    7951024
  • Peter Antony
    1280852
  • My name is Peter Antony, and I work in the editorial department at the Metropolitan Museum. My topic today is the Tudors.

  • From a very early age, I became keenly interested in British monarchs.

  • These characters in my mind are larger than life, who

  • made all sorts of political and religious changes that we're still living with the ramifications of.

  • But that's not it entirely, it's often as simple as these people's personalities.

  • It's risky to judge a medieval or early Renaissance family by modern psychotherapeutic standards, but they seem to me to have been extremely dysfunctional.

  • Henry VIII clearly had issues. Six wives I think by any standard is excessive, and you know, to go out of your way to kill two of them is a bit much. And you can

  • see the effects of how he lived, he appears to be obese, exhausted, irritated and maybe a little gouty. And

  • we get the sense of the physical presence of Henry by looking at his field armor. Some of these objects are

  • at least comparatively speaking, modest, but the stories behind them add tremendous value. Henry's son

  • Edward VI, was crowned as a boy and died as a boy, a very poignant story.

  • Mary I, Bloody Mary, her mother set aside her princess title, she was called a bastard by her own father, and she came to the throne and she—it was pay back time. She wanted revenge. It's that kind of color that continues to draw me to the period.

  • Philip II of Spain was her husband, but not a very affectionate one. And of course it's this figure who sent the Spanish Armada against England so calamitously. He went on to propose to Mary's sister

  • Elizabeth I. Elizabeth did decline that marriage proposal as she declined all of the great many marriage proposals that were offered to her over decades of her reign.

  • Historians really do differ on whether Elizabeth's purported virginity was a fact, or whether it was a posture she assumed. You know, people differ. Robert Devereux was

  • her last great favorite, featured all the time in films and television and popular novels. We don't know whether their relationship was physical. But Elizabeth executed him, he was part of a rebellion, he was implicated in a rebellion, and she had him executed. And it isn't

  • always clear to me, as I think about these figures, the degree to which there was affection between and among them, but you know I'm not really feeling the love. What I do see is that they were all deeply preoccupied with dynastic concerns. You know, depending on how you came down in religious and nationalistic terms, that was where you sided. Tremendous drama. Of all of the figures

  • This fellow was some sort of figure in the court Henry VIII. He's wearing the livery of the court and he's looking out of this picture in a way that helps me to imagine what he would have beheld. The extraordinary spectacle, perhaps the marital intrigues, the crushing, calamitous political failures that resulted in people being executed.

  • The pageantry, you know, the music of the period,

  • the dance. It's the age of Shakespeare and Holbein was brought from Germany

  • to paint portraits. The period's fascinating to me not only because of the political and religious tumult, and these characters are fascinating to me

  • not only because of the drama of their personal lives, the period's also interesting because it was a period during which culture

  • flourished.

  • 11.149.1
    Portrait of a Noblewoman, late 16th century, British Painter, Oil on wood Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1911 (11.149.1)
  • 32.130.6
    Armor of George Clifford, Third Earl of Cumberland, ca. 1580–85, Made in the Royal Workshops, English (Greenwich), Steel, etched, blued, and gilded Munsey Fund, 1932 (32.130.6)
  • 1975.1.1915
    The Last Supper, from a set of four tapestries of the Passion, known as the Alba Passion, ca. 1520–30, Bernaert van Orley (Flemish); Probably designed by Pieter de Pannemaker (Flemish), Wool, silk, and silver-gilt thread Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.1915)
  • 50.69.2
    Margaret More (1505–1544), Wife of William Roper, 1535–36, Hans Holbein the Younger (German), Vellum laid on playing card Rogers Fund, 1950 (50.69.2)
  • 2001.432.8
    Groat of Henry VII (1485–1509), early 16th century, English, Silver Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ada Peluso, and Romano I. Peluso, in memory of Ignazio Peluso, 2001 (2001.432.8)
  • 2007.160.6
    Testoon of Henry VIII (third coinage), 1509–47, English (London), Silver Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso, 2007 (2007.160.6)
  • 2001.432.9
    Half Groat of Henry VIII (1509-1547), 1544–47, English, Silver Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ada Peluso, and Romano I. Peluso, in memory of Ignazio Peluso, 2001 (2001.432.9)
  • 32.130.7a-l_v001
    Armor of King Henry VIII, King of England, ca. 1544, Italian, Steel, blackened, etched, and gilt; textile and leather Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1932 (32.130.7a–l)
  • 28.220.7,.8
    Pair of gloves, ca. 1600, English, Leather; satin worked with silk and metal thread, seed pearls; satin, couching, and darning stitches; metal bobbin lace; paper Gift of Mrs. Edward S. Harkness, 1928 (28.220.7,.8)
  • 49.7.31
    Edward VI (1537–1553), When Duke of Cornwall, Workshop of Hans Holbein the Younger (English, after 1543), Oil on wood The Jules Bache Collection, 1949 (49.7.31)
  • 56.613
    Mary I, Queen of England, 1600–27, Francis Delaram (British), Engraving; first state The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1956 (56.613)
  • 26.260.91
    Philip II of Spain, 16th century, Pompeo Leoni (Italian), Marble Bequest of Annie C. Kane, 1926 (26.260.91)
  • 38.150.32
    Elizabeth I of England (1533–1603), ca. 1570–1600, Probably Italian, Onyx and gold The Milton Weil Collection, 1938 (38.150.32)
  • 17.3.756-1618
    Queen Elizabeth I of England, late 16th–mid 17th century, Anonymous (French), Engraving Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1917 (17.3.756–1618)
  • 35.89.4
    Portrait of a Young Man, Probably Robert Devereux (1566–1601), Second Earl of Essex, 1588, Nicholas Hilliard (British), Vellum laid on card Fletcher Fund, 1935 (35.89.4)
  • 17.190.2
    Mary, Queen of Scots, with Her Son, James, 19th century, English Painter, Oil on slate Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.2)
  • 50.145.24
    Portrait of a Man in a Red Cap, ca. 1534, Hans Holbein the Younger (German), Oil on wood Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness, 1950 (50.145.24)
  • 23.170.1
    Woman's jacket, ca. 1616, English, Linen worked with silk and metal thread, spangles; detached buttonhole variations, wrapped ladder stitch, straight, knot, chain, and satin stitches, metal bobbin lace Rogers Fund, 1925 (23.170.1)
  • 42.119.534
    Doll Tearsheet, Falstaff, Henry and Poins (Shakespeare's Second Part of King Henry the Fourth, Act II, Scene IV), 1795, William Satchwell Leney (American); Henry Fuseli (Johan Heinrich Füssli) (Swiss), Published by John & Josiah Boydell, London, Stipple engraving Gertrude and Thomas Jefferson Mumford Collection, Gift of Dorothy Quick Mayer, 1942 (42.119.534)
  • 25.205
    Thomas Wriothesley (1505–1550), First Earl of Southampton, ca. 1535, Hans Holbein the Younger (German), Vellum laid on card Rogers Fund, 1925 (25.205)
  • 14.40.637
    Lady Lee (Margaret Wyatt, born about 1509), possibly ca. 1540, Copy after Hans Holbein the Younger (English, 16th century), Oil on wood Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.637)
  • Portrait of a Noblewoman, late 16th century, British Painter, Oil on wood Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1911 (11.149.1)
    Armor of George Clifford, Third Earl of Cumberland, ca. 1580–85, Made in the Royal Workshops, English (Greenwich), Steel, etched, blued, and gilded Munsey Fund, 1932 (32.130.6)
    The Last Supper, from a set of four tapestries of the Passion, known as the Alba Passion, ca. 1520–30, Bernaert van Orley (Flemish); Probably designed by Pieter de Pannemaker (Flemish), Wool, silk, and silver-gilt thread Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.1915)
    Margaret More (1505–1544), Wife of William Roper, 1535–36, Hans Holbein the Younger (German), Vellum laid on playing card Rogers Fund, 1950 (50.69.2)
    Groat of Henry VII (1485–1509), early 16th century, English, Silver Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ada Peluso, and Romano I. Peluso, in memory of Ignazio Peluso, 2001 (2001.432.8)
    Testoon of Henry VIII (third coinage), 1509–47, English (London), Silver Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso, 2007 (2007.160.6)
    Half Groat of Henry VIII (1509-1547), 1544–47, English, Silver Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ada Peluso, and Romano I. Peluso, in memory of Ignazio Peluso, 2001 (2001.432.9)
    Armor of King Henry VIII, King of England, ca. 1544, Italian, Steel, blackened, etched, and gilt; textile and leather Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1932 (32.130.7a–l)
    Pair of gloves, ca. 1600, English, Leather; satin worked with silk and metal thread, seed pearls; satin, couching, and darning stitches; metal bobbin lace; paper Gift of Mrs. Edward S. Harkness, 1928 (28.220.7,.8)
    Edward VI (1537–1553), When Duke of Cornwall, Workshop of Hans Holbein the Younger (English, after 1543), Oil on wood The Jules Bache Collection, 1949 (49.7.31)
    Mary I, Queen of England, 1600–27, Francis Delaram (British), Engraving; first state The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1956 (56.613)
    Philip II of Spain, 16th century, Pompeo Leoni (Italian), Marble Bequest of Annie C. Kane, 1926 (26.260.91)
    Elizabeth I of England (1533–1603), ca. 1570–1600, Probably Italian, Onyx and gold The Milton Weil Collection, 1938 (38.150.32)
    Queen Elizabeth I of England, late 16th–mid 17th century, Anonymous (French), Engraving Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1917 (17.3.756–1618)
    Portrait of a Young Man, Probably Robert Devereux (1566–1601), Second Earl of Essex, 1588, Nicholas Hilliard (British), Vellum laid on card Fletcher Fund, 1935 (35.89.4)
    Mary, Queen of Scots, with Her Son, James, 19th century, English Painter, Oil on slate Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.2)
    Portrait of a Man in a Red Cap, ca. 1534, Hans Holbein the Younger (German), Oil on wood Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness, 1950 (50.145.24)
    Woman's jacket, ca. 1616, English, Linen worked with silk and metal thread, spangles; detached buttonhole variations, wrapped ladder stitch, straight, knot, chain, and satin stitches, metal bobbin lace Rogers Fund, 1925 (23.170.1)
    Doll Tearsheet, Falstaff, Henry and Poins (Shakespeare's Second Part of King Henry the Fourth, Act II, Scene IV), 1795, William Satchwell Leney (American); Henry Fuseli (Johan Heinrich Füssli) (Swiss), Published by John & Josiah Boydell, London, Stipple engraving Gertrude and Thomas Jefferson Mumford Collection, Gift of Dorothy Quick Mayer, 1942 (42.119.534)
    Thomas Wriothesley (1505–1550), First Earl of Southampton, ca. 1535, Hans Holbein the Younger (German), Vellum laid on card Rogers Fund, 1925 (25.205)
    Lady Lee (Margaret Wyatt, born about 1509), possibly ca. 1540, Copy after Hans Holbein the Younger (English, 16th century), Oil on wood Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.637)
    8000–2000 B.C.
    2000–1000 B.C.
    1000 B.C.–1 A.D.
    1–500 A.D.
    500–1000 A.D.
    1000–1400 A.D.
    1400–1600 A.D.
    1600–1800 A.D.
    1800–1900 A.D.
    1900–Present

    Works of art in order of appearance

    Last Updated: August 19, 2013. Not all works of art in the Museum's collection may be on view on a particular day. For the most accurate location information, please check this page on the day of your visit.

    Portrait of a Noblewoman
    late 16th century
    British Painter
    Oil on wood
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1911 (11.149.1)
    Not on view
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Armor of George Clifford, Third Earl of Cumberland
    ca. 1580–85
    Made in the Royal Workshops
    English (Greenwich)
    Steel, etched, blued, and gilded
    Munsey Fund, 1932 (32.130.6)
    On view: Gallery 371
    Arms and ArmorFirst Floor
    The Last Supper, from a set of four tapestries of the Passion, known as the Alba Passion
    ca. 1520–30
    Bernaert van Orley (Flemish); Probably designed by Pieter de Pannemaker (Flemish)
    Wool, silk, and silver-gilt thread
    Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.1915)
    On view: Gallery 959
    The Robert Lehman CollectionFirst Floor
    Margaret More (1505–1544), Wife of William Roper
    1535–36
    Hans Holbein the Younger (German)
    Vellum laid on playing card
    Rogers Fund, 1950 (50.69.2)
    Not on view
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Groat of Henry VII (1485–1509)
    early 16th century
    English
    Silver
    Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ada Peluso, and Romano I. Peluso, in memory of Ignazio Peluso, 2001 (2001.432.8)
    Not on view
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Testoon of Henry VIII (third coinage)
    1509–47
    English (London)
    Silver
    Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso, 2007 (2007.160.6)
    Not on view
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Half Groat of Henry VIII (1509-1547)
    1544–47
    English
    Silver
    Gift of Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ada Peluso, and Romano I. Peluso, in memory of Ignazio Peluso, 2001 (2001.432.9)
    On view: Gallery 510
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Armor of King Henry VIII, King of England
    ca. 1544
    Italian
    Steel, blackened, etched, and gilt; textile and leather
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1932 (32.130.7a–l)
    On view: Gallery 371
    Arms and ArmorFirst Floor
    Pair of gloves
    ca. 1600
    English
    Leather; satin worked with silk and metal thread, seed pearls; satin, couching, and darning stitches; metal bobbin lace; paper
    Gift of Mrs. Edward S. Harkness, 1928 (28.220.7,.8)
    Not on view
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Edward VI (1537–1553), When Duke of Cornwall
    Workshop of Hans Holbein the Younger (English, after 1543)
    Oil on wood
    The Jules Bache Collection, 1949 (49.7.31)
    Not on view
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Mary I, Queen of England
    1600–27
    Francis Delaram (British)
    Engraving; first state
    The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1956 (56.613)
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsSecond Floor
    Philip II of Spain
    16th century
    Pompeo Leoni (Italian)
    Marble
    Bequest of Annie C. Kane, 1926 (26.260.91)
    On view: Gallery 534
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Elizabeth I of England (1533–1603)
    ca. 1570–1600
    Probably Italian
    Onyx and gold
    The Milton Weil Collection, 1938 (38.150.32)
    Not on view
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Queen Elizabeth I of England
    late 16th–mid 17th century
    Anonymous (French)
    Engraving
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1917 (17.3.756–1618)
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsSecond Floor
    Portrait of a Young Man, Probably Robert Devereux (1566–1601), Second Earl of Essex
    1588
    Nicholas Hilliard (British)
    Vellum laid on card
    Fletcher Fund, 1935 (35.89.4)
    Not on view
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Mary, Queen of Scots, with Her Son, James
    19th century
    English Painter
    Oil on slate
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.2)
    Not on view
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Portrait of a Man in a Red Cap
    ca. 1534
    Hans Holbein the Younger (German)
    Oil on wood
    Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness, 1950 (50.145.24)
    On view: Gallery 643
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Woman's jacket
    ca. 1616
    English
    Linen worked with silk and metal thread, spangles; detached buttonhole variations, wrapped ladder stitch, straight, knot, chain, and satin stitches, metal bobbin lace
    Rogers Fund, 1925 (23.170.1)
    Not on view
    The Costume InstituteFirst Floor
    Doll Tearsheet, Falstaff, Henry and Poins (Shakespeare's Second Part of King Henry the Fourth, Act II, Scene IV)
    1795
    William Satchwell Leney (American); Henry Fuseli (Johan Heinrich Füssli) (Swiss)
    Published by John & Josiah Boydell, London
    Stipple engraving
    Gertrude and Thomas Jefferson Mumford Collection, Gift of Dorothy Quick Mayer, 1942 (42.119.534)
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsSecond Floor
    Thomas Wriothesley (1505–1550), First Earl of Southampton
    ca. 1535
    Hans Holbein the Younger (German)
    Vellum laid on card
    Rogers Fund, 1925 (25.205)
    Not on view
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Lady Lee (Margaret Wyatt, born about 1509)
    possibly ca. 1540
    Copy after Hans Holbein the Younger (English, 16th century)
    Oil on wood
    Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.637)
    Not on view
    European PaintingsSecond Floor

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