King and Collector

King and Collector : Henry VIII and the Art of Kingship

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'Packed with absorbing detail and brilliant insights ... I was gripped from the first paragraph' Alison Weir

No English king is as well-known to us as Henry VIII - famous for his six marriages, for dissolving the monasteries and for the ruthless destruction of his foes. But Henry was also an ardent patron of the arts, whose magnificent tapestries and paintings adorned his lavish court and began the Royal Collection. In contrast to later royal collectors, Henry was more interested in storytelling than art for its own sake, and all his commissions relate to one central tale: the glorification of the king and his realm. Henry's life can be seen through his collection and the works reveal much about both his kingship and his insecurities. King and Collector tells this unique story of art and power, peeling back the layers of propaganda to show the true face of the Tudor monarch.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 19.05mm | 476.27g
  • Stroud, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 23 Illustrations, color
  • 0750996242
  • 9780750996242
  • 289,865

Review quote

The era of Henry VIII was a time of cultural ferment, and King and Collector captures the vivacity and boldness of those years in a fashion that is succinct, well-judged and clear, illuminating the visual culture and placing it in a nuanced context. If you are visiting Tudor England, this book will be a sure guide to what to look at and how to look at it -- Hilary Mantel I was gripped from the first paragraph. This is a lively, fascinating and, above all, sound account of Henry VIII as sitter and patron. His turbulent reign is mirrored in art and it is brought to life for a broad audience in this wonderful, beautifully crafted book. Packed with absorbing detail and brilliant insights, this is a must for anyone with an interest in the Tudor period -- Alison Weir Exquisite ... Paints a vivid picture of the splendour of Henry VIII's court and the art treasures within it, and in so doing brings the king himself dazzlingly to life. Beautifully written and impeccably researched, it casts fresh light upon the most famous monarch in British history -- Tracy Borman This is a book about Tudor art, but also the stories within and around each artwork ... In their account, the authors have succeeded where many others have failed. Art has not been reduced to mere illustration; it becomes an immersive gateway into an exploration of Tudor culture, political symbolism and spirituality. We also have a well-matched account of Henry himself - the nature of his kingship, his ambitions, achievements, failures, frustrations and insecurities - and we follow his path from ebullient masquer and triumphant jouster to the crippled, irascible tyrant ... Through the text and the artworks, we can glimpse a lost world of bejewelled courtiers and palaces drenched in the colour and symbolism of 16th-century art and craftsmanship, as well as understand what it meant to Henry VIII and the Tudor art of kingship -- Brett Dolman, Curator (Collections), Historic Royal Palaces Learning about the arts should always be an enriching and satisfying experience. Crucial to that experience are inspiring narrators who can breathe life into the stories of the past that are captured in art and material culture. It is a real joy to be in the presence of experts who not only understand their subject matter but also the audience they are sharing their knowledge with ... Linda Collins and Siobhan Clarke bring a magnificent and dreadful king to life through the visual medium of his paintings, and in doing so create an impression of knowing the man more intimately. The Art of Kingship is indeed an apt title for this little book that offers us an enormous visual slice of Henry's life -- Florian Schweizer, CEO of the Arts Society A brisk, useful introduction to the king as collector, full of intriguing detail about the ways in which Henry went about altering the common European conception of his country as culturally backward and lacking interest in the visual arts -- Mark Bostridge, The Spectator
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About Linda Collins

Linda Collins holds a BA in early Italian art and an MA in the works of Georges de La Tour. She is an accredited lecturer for the Arts Society.

Siobhan Clarke is a historian and lecturer. She has written for BBC History Magazine and featured on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour. has a BA in modern history and has worked for Historic Royal Palaces for 20 years.
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