Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014
Edward VI (1537-53)
This portrait was probably completed not long before the King's accession on 28 January 1547. The young prince wears a russet satin gown with hanging sleevs, trimmed with velvet, embroidered with gold thread and lines with lynx fur. The jewel round his neck is decorated with the coronet and feathers of the Prince of Wales.
The classical interior includes a column with a carved roundel at the base depicting a horseman and inscribed MARCVS. CVRCIVS. ROMAN[VS] ('Marcus Curtius, Roman'). A deer park can be seen through the window on the left, with Hunsdon House, Hertfordshire in the distance. Prince Edward was in residence at Hunsdon from May to July 1546.
According to George Vertue in 1734 the picture was 'originally only done to the knees, but since of late added at top something, and at bottom more to make the leggs & feet. but so ill and injudiciously drawn...'. These additions had disappeared by 1813 and the panel seems to have been cut down on all sides at some time.
The artist was also responsible for the portrait of Edward's half sister, Princess Elizabeth (RCIN 404444). Stylistically the two portraits are very alike; the panels are constructed in a similar way and may have come from the same tree. It is most likely that the painter of these two works was William Scrots, a Flemish artist who was employed by Henry VIII from 1545 until 1553.
The painting was inscribed at a slightly later date: Edwardus Sextus Rex / Angliae (Edward the Sixth King of England).