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Victoria Art Gallery’s Henry VIII portrait confirmed as original

A portrait of Henry VIII belonging to Victoria Art Gallery in Bath has been confirmed as an original Tudor painting.

The portrait, by an unknown artist, is estimated to have been painted between 1537 and 1557, and was dated by specialists using dendrochronology when recently sent away for essential conservation work.

The painting was given to Bath & North East Somerset Council in the 19th century.

This portrait of Henry VIII was copied from the Whitehall mural, which was painted in 1537 by Hans Holbein the Younger for Henry VIII’s apartment at Whitehall Palace. The original was destroyed in a fire in 1698.

Councillor Paul Myers, cabinet member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “This is one of the oldest and best pictures of Henry VIII in the world, and we are very fortunate to have it in the council’s public art collection. The painting will soon be back on display at the Victoria Art Gallery, where visitors will be able to see it for free in the Upper Gallery.”

The dating of the painting was paid for by the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery. The Chairman, Michael Rowe, said: “The Friends of the Gallery are committed to supporting original research into the gallery collections and were delighted to fund the dendrochronology. We look forward to further research into the origins of this important picture.”

Visit: victoriagal.org.uk