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King Henry VIII

circa 1535-circa 1540


Anglo-Netherlandish workshop


1530s - 1550s



circa 1535-circa 1540

Media category


Materials used

oil on oak panel


54.5 x 41.3 x 1.2 cm panel (including two added strips at the right side of respectively 3.6 and 3.1 cm and a balsa backing of 0.7 cm depth); 69.4 x 55.2 x 6.4 cm frame

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Purchased 1961

Accession number


Artist information

Anglo-Netherlandish workshop

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

  • Acquisitions 1962, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 10 Apr 1963–12 May 1963

  • Henry VR, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 May 2018–09 Sep 2018


5th Earl of Gosford, pre 16 Feb 1945, Northern Ireland, Sold by him, Christie's London, 16 Feb 1945, no 144 (as Holbein). Provenance noted in the auction catalogue ('property of the Rt. Hon. The Earl of Gosford).

Vokins, 16 Feb 1945-1946, London/England, Purchased at Christie's London, 16 Feb 1945, for 115 gns. Provenance annotated in the auction catalogue ('Vokins').

Paul Larsen, 1946, Illustrated on a Larsen advertisement in the 'Art News Annual' 1945–46, p 158.

P & D Colnaghi and Co, 1948, London/England, Recorded in Roy Strong's letter dated 20 Nov 1962 to the AGNSW: 'seen again at Colnaghi's, the art dealer, in 1948'. According to a note in the Witt Library, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, the picture was offered to Colnaghi's in Dec 1947 'through E Hill-Cole'.

Sotheby's London, 22 Feb 1961, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Sotheby's London, 22 February 1961, lot 138, as Jan van Scorel. Received 28 September 1962.

Referenced in 22 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1962 Acquisitions, Sydney, 1963, p 27, no 37.

Erna Auerbach, Tudor artists: a study of painters in the Royal service and of portraiture on illuminated documents from the accession of Henry VIII to the death of Elizabeth I, London, 1954, p 45, note 7.

Charlotte Bolland and Tarnya Cooper, The real Tudors: Kings and Queens rediscovered, London, 2014, p 48, col illus p 49.

Mark Chapman, Anglicanism: a very short introduction, Oxford, 2006, illus p 16.

Sarah Couper, Look, ‘Studio visit – Inside the Blue Mountains studio of Gallery framer David Butler’, Sydney, Sep 2017-Oct 2017, pp 64–68: p 68.

Paula Dredge, Applied Physics A, Materials, Science & Processing, vol 121, no 3, 'Mapping Henry: Synchroton-sourced X-ray fluorescence mapping and ultra-high-definition scanning of an early Tudor portrait of Henry VIII', Nov 2015, pp 789–800, col illus p 790.

Jill A Franklin, Pamela Tudor-Craig and Bernard Nurse, Catalogue of paintings in the collection of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Turnhout, 2015, p 93, col illus p 93, comp fig 12.3.

Renée Free, Art Gallery of New South Wales catalogue of British paintings, Sydney, 1987, p 216, illus p 216.

Simon Ives, Look, 'Under the skin', Sydney, May 2018-Jun 2018, pp 34–37, col illus pp 5 (detail), 34, 35, 37 (detail).

Larissa Mavros, UNSW Newsroom, 'Henry VIII emerges from the shadows for new exhibition', Sydney, 23 May 2018. Consulted on 28 May 2018

Hal Missingham (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, vol 4, no 3, Sydney, Apr 1963, p 143, illus p 143.

Sir Roy Colin Strong, Tudor and Jacobean portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 2 vols, vol 1, United Kingdom, 1969, p 159.

Peter Tomory and Robert Gaston, European Paintings before 1800 in Australian and New Zealand public collections, Sydney, 1989, p 115, no 350, illus p 115.

Andrew Yip, Andrew Yip, 'Henry VR – Art Gallery of NSW', May 2018. Consulted on 28 May 2018

Andrew Yip, Look, 'Regarding Henry', Sydney, May 2018-Jun 2018, pp 38–39.

AGNSW archive Acq 4/1961, 07 Nov 1961.

Trustees' minutes 1961, 1961, p 4997 (24 Mar). Correspondence from Mr Christopher Norris stating he had purchased 'a bust portrait of Henry VIII from the Wemyss collection; on green ground, and not a Holbein composition'.

Catalogue of old master drawings and paintings, London, 22 Feb 1961, p 25, no 138. As 'Scorel'.

National Portrait Gallery website, Tudor and Jacobean portraits database, NPG1376.

Art News Annual, 1945-1946, illus p 158. Paul Larsen advertisement.

Catalogue of ancient and modern pictures and drawings..., London, 16 Feb 1945, p 12, no 114. As 'Holbein'. 'The above is the property of the Rt. Hon. The Earl of Gosford'.

Trustees minutes 1962, 1962, pp 5137 (23 Mar), 5144–45 (27 Apr), 5190 (28 Sep).