Henry VII

The real reason why I wanted to call in on the NPG was to see Henry VII before he goes out on loan or into cold storage: one of the most fascinating portraits in the collection (NPG 416), documented by its inscription as having been painted by order of Herman Rinck, an agent for Maximilian I in the abortive negotiations round Henry’s possible marriage to Margaret of Austria. I’ve always been fascinated by how much it seems to tell one about Henry’s character – careful, scrupulous, reticent, if one is still allowed to read portraits in relation to character:-

Done by an unknown artist, but so beautifully, one wants to know about the artist as well as the sitter.

His eyes:-

His mouth:-

His left hand:-

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