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Joos van Cleve (active 1505/08-1540/41)

Henry VIII (1491-1547) c. 1530-35

Oil on panel | 72.4 x 58.6 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 403368

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Henry VIII’s clothes were designed to convey magnificence and to enhance the reputation of the Tudor court both at home and abroad. In 1516 he was described by the Venetian Ambassador as “the best dressed sovereign in the world”. Portraits like this predominantly show the king wearing colours traditionally associated with monarchy (black, white, red and gold) in rich fabrics – silk, fur and cloth of gold, with an abundance of large jewels.