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Exhibition: 'Lost Faces: Identity and Discovery in Tudor Royal Portraiture'

Wed Mar 7, 2007

In 2007 Philip Mould & Co collaborated with eminent historian David Starkey on an exhibition highlighting recent discoveries and rarely seen portraits from the Tudor era. The likenesses of the Tudor monarchs define our approach to them today, hence this exhibition threw into sharp relief what these visual revelations have achieved for English history. The rediscovery of the painting above is a prime example of this as a major addition to the iconography of Elizabeth I. Until it was unearthed by this gallery, this portrait of Elizabeth I as a princess was thought to be a late copy having been masked by over paint, which is unfortunately common to Tudor paintings.

The exhibition examined how portraitraiture was used by Tudor monarchs, often for political ends, and how identities were manipulated as a result. It also looked at the evolution of royal portraiture, and how the Tudor face has changed through history. In some cases, we looked at specific lost paintings, such as Holbein's 1537 Whitehall mural, which we recreated at full-scale for the first time in over two hundred years. In others, we went in search of hitherto lost faces, such as Prince Arthur, Catherine Howard, and Lady Jane Grey.

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