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Despite being wrongly inscribed ‘Heri: 7’ sometime after its creation, this is a portrait of King Edward IV. Edward is portrayed turned to the left and resting his hands on a ledge before him. The hands, which are poorly painted, hold a white rose, the badge of the Yorkists (supporters of Edward IV). Edward wears a black cap, a black tunic decorated with strings of pearls and jewels and a rich, reddish brown jacket in a patterned fabric. The background of the work is plain green. Humanist scholar, historian, priest and diplomat Polydore Virgil (c.1470-1555) described the appearance of Edward IV as follows: ‘brown-haired, unusually handsome and pleasant of face, broad-chested, well formed, and so tall that his head and shoulders towered above those of nearly all other men.’
King Edward IV (1442-1483) Reigned 1461-70 and 1471-83
Oil on panel
height: 38.00 cm, width: 29.00 cm
Purchased from Christie's, 9 February 1951
tr: Heri : 7 : -
Collection of merchant and connoisseur of medieval art Hollingworth Magniac (1786-1867); collection of ‘Jeweller, H. Lyons & Sons’; by whom sold through Christie’s, London, on 9 February 1951 (Lot 149) as ‘Henry VII’; from which sale purchased by Richard Walker on behalf of the Ministry of Works
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