King Edward IV (1442-1483) Reigned 1461-70 and 1471-83

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    Interpretation about this artwork is under review

    The Government Art Collection recognises its responsibility to artists, colleagues and all our audiences to represent the diversity of the UK and to embed anti-racist and equitable practices throughout our work. We are taking action to address inequality in the Collection and its interpretation.

    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.’

  • Explore
    Edward IV
    Materials & Techniques
    panel, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    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
    GAC number