A portrait of Katherine Parr, the final of King Henry VIII’s six wives, fetched a powerful £3,436,000 ($4,368,000), together with premiums, at Sotheby’s London’s Previous Grasp & nineteenth Century Work Night Public sale on July 5, marking a second of pleasure for the storied portray. Whereas it was not the highest-earning lot of the night, the ultimate sale value soared previous its excessive estimate (£800,000 or $1,015,000) by greater than 400 p.c, making it the widest margin by far.
Katherine Parr was Queen of England—the primary to even be named Queen of Eire, following King Henry VIII’s adoption of the title—from the time of her marriage to Henry in 1543 till his loss of life in 1547. She was the ultimate queen consort of the Home of Tudor and outlived Henry by practically two years. With 4 husbands, two earlier than the king and one after, she continues to be the most-married English queen.
Attributed to Grasp John, this portrait was probably painted in 1547–8, shortly after the King’s loss of life, when her function turned queen dowager somewhat than queen consort. Her place was solidified with an order from Henry that, upon his loss of life, Katherine be given the total respect of a queen of England, as if he had been nonetheless alive. The work is one in every of solely two surviving portraits of Katherine Parr, the opposite being a full-length (ca. 1545) portray held within the Nationwide Portrait Gallery of London, additionally attributed to Grasp John.
Although it was considered destroyed by fireplace, the portrait emerged after nearly 200 years because it was final provided at public sale, in line with Sotheby’s. The vendor and the latest proprietor is the property of the Earl of Jersey, George Francis Baby-Villiers, who died in 1998.
The portray has typically been mistaken for others, together with Queen Mary I and Woman Jane Gray. Nonetheless, the sitter could be appropriately recognized from the distinctive piece of knickknack at her chest, a crown-shaped gold and pearl brooch that’s recorded in inventories of Parr’s possessions.
As she is just not amongst King Henry VIII’s beheaded wives, Katherine Parr is commonly ignored within the annals of English historical past. Nonetheless, her extraordinary life is gaining newfound consideration with the current launch of the movie Firebrand. Starring Jude Legislation and Alicia Vikander, the difference of the 2013 novel Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle premiered on the Cannes Movie Competition this yr.
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