Upcoming Events

Painting the Tudors

Public Event Series – Charlotte Bolland, Elizabeth Goldring, Karen Hearn, Robert Tittler

  • 5 July 2023
  • 4:30 – 7:00 pm
  • Part of Tudors Now!, a public event series convened by Christina Faraday
  • National Portrait Gallery, London

In this session we will see the newly refurbished Tudor galleries at the just-reopened National Portrait Gallery, London, with an introduction by the curator of sixteenth-century portraits, Charlotte Bolland. After the gallery tour, there will be a roundtable discussion exploring the latest thinking in Tudor portraiture with leading scholars in the field. We will be asking what patrons wanted from their portraits, and how we can do justice to the full range of portraits made in the period, from the highly skilled images of courtiers and royalty to the more varied portraits of the middling sort found in towns and regions.

Suggested Reading:

Titles with an asterisk are available in the Paul Mellon Centre Library.

Charlotte Bolland, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits.London: National Portrait Gallery, 2019. *

Charlotte Bolland, ed. The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics.London: National Portrait Gallery, 2022. *

Christina Faraday, Tudor Liveliness: Vivid Art in Post-Reformation England.London: Paul Mellon Centre, 2023. *

Elizabeth Goldring, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and the World of Elizabethan Art. New Haven and London: Paul Mellon Centre and Yale University Press, 2014. *

Elizabeth Goldring, Nicholas Hilliard: Life of an Artist.London and New Haven: Paul Mellon Centre and Yale University Press, 2019. *

Karen Hearn, ed. Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530–1630.London: Tate, 1995. *

Roy Strong, The Elizabethan Image: An Introduction to English Portraiture, 1558–1603.New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2021. *

Robert Tittler, Painting for a Living in Tudor and Early Stuart England.Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2022. *

Listing image credit: Unknown, Sir Henry Unton, c. 1596, oil on panel, 74 x 163.2 cm. Collection National Portrait Gallery (NPG 710). Digital image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery (All Rights Reserved)

About the speakers

  • Charlotte Bolland is Senior Curator for Research and 16th Century Collections at the National Portrait Gallery, London. She has co-curated a number of exhibitions at the gallery, including The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered (2014) and The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt (2017). She studied for her PhD at Queen Mary University of London, in collaboration with The Royal Collection, examining Italian material culture at the Tudor Court.

  • Elizabeth Goldring, FRHistS, is Honorary Reader at the University of Warwick. Her most recent book, Nicholas Hilliard: Life of an Artist (Yale/PMC, 2019), won the Apollo Prize and was shortlisted for three other major awards: the Berger Prize for British Art History; the Richard Schlagman Award (‘best contribution to art history’); and the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize. Other books include Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and the World of Elizabethan Art (Yale/PMC, 2014), which won the Bainton Prize for Art History, and, as General Editor, John Nichols’s The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth I (OUP, 2014), which won the Bainton Prize for Reference, the MLA Prize for a Scholarly Edition, and was named a TLS ‘Book of the Year’. Current projects include a new book on Hans Holbein the Younger.

  • Head and shoulder portrait of a woman with blonde hair and black cardigan

    Karen Hearn FSA was the Curator of 16th & 17th Century Art at Tate Britain from 1992 to 2012, and is now an honorary professor at University College London. She researches, curates and teaches on the art made in Britain between ca.1500 and ca.1710, and focuses on the migrant artists and the British-Netherlandish cultural links of that period.

    In 1995, she curated the major Tate exhibition Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530–1630; also at Tate, in 2009, Van Dyck and Britain; and in 2011–12 Rubens and Britain. Having curated Cornelius Johnson at the National Portrait Gallery in 2015, she is now writing a full-scale monograph on Johnson.

    In 2020 she curated Portraying Pregnancy – addressing historical “pregnancy portraits” – at the Foundling Museum, London.

  • Robert Tittler is Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Montreal’s Concordia University and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. His current interests focus on painting, painters and the social and economic contexts for painting activity in Tudor and early Stuart England. Amongst his books are: The Face of the City; Civic Portraiture and Civic Identity in Early Modern England (Manchester, 2007); Painters, Portraits, and Publics in Provincial England, 1500–1640 (Oxford, 2012) and Painting for a Living in Tudor and Early Stuart England (Woodbridge, 2022). The more than 3,200 entries in his biographical database Early Modern British Painters, 1500–1640.