King Henry VI (1421-1471) Reigned 1422-61 and 1470-71

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall

    In this half-length portrait, King Henry VI is turned slightly to the left with his hands gently clasped before him. Henry’s hair and eyes are brown and he wears a black cap and black tunic. The gold collar of a more elaborate garment and red sleeves protrude from beneath the tunic. Around his neck is a gold jewelled chain and cross and he wears a ring on his left index finger.

    This portrait is thought to have been made by a workshop of artists; each artist specialising in a different aspect of the painting. It formed part of a series of portraits of kings of England, which was produced in duplicate. The series also included Edward VI and Henry VIII, and is one of the earliest sets of portraits illustrating British monarchs. The portraits may also have been available to purchase individually. Portraits from the series typically show the sitters facing to the left.

  • About the artist

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    Henry VI
    Materials & Techniques
    panel, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    King Henry VI (1421-1471) Reigned 1422-61 and 1470-71
    Oil on panel
    height: 37.00 cm, width: 28.00 cm
    Purchased from Sotheby's, 11 June 1947
    Collection of politician and governor-general of India Edward Law, first earl of Ellenborough (1790-1871) at Southam House, Gloucestershire; sold though Sotheby's, London, ‘Highly Important Paintings by Old Masters’ sale, on 11 June 1947 (Lot 56), as by ‘Flemish School’; from which sale purchased by ‘Castle’ on behalf of the Ministry of Works
    GAC number