Edward VI became King in 1547 at the age of ten and ruled for six years until his death in 1553. This important profile portrait includes both the red and white rose, emblems of the Houses of Lancaster and York respectively, which were the two dynasties united by Edward’s grandfather, Henry VII (1457-1509), in 1485. Edward is shown in profile, with a group of plants and herbs that, instead of turning to the sun, are facing the young King. An elaborate text beneath, in both Italian and Latin, reiterates the power of the King as an equal power to the sun. This portrait may have been painted for the Stanhope family, relations of Edward VI’s uncle and chief minister, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector (about 1506-52). It remained with this family until it was acquired for Compton Verney in 2004.
William Scrots King Edward VI About 1550 © Compton Verney
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