The Tudors

7 min readOct 2, 2022

Art and Majesty in Renaissance England

Artistic Splendor of Tudor England to Be Exhibited at The Met

Opening October 10, the first exhibition in the United States focusing on art created during the Tudor dynasty will feature more than 100 paintings, tapestries, sculptures, and more. From King Henry VII’s seizure of the throne in 1485 to the death of his granddaughter Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, England’s Tudor monarchs used art to legitimize and glorify their tumultuous reigns.

On view at The Met from October 10, 2022, to January 8, 2023, The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England will trace the transformation of the arts under their rule through more than 100 objects — including iconic portraits, spectacular tapestries, manuscripts, sculpture, and armor — from both the Museum collection and international lenders.

Exhibition co-curator Elizabeth Cleland, Curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, added: “The sense of majesty that the Tudors crafted around themselves was so successful that, even now, we need to take a step back and remind ourselves just how tenuous their claim to the throne actually was and how many challenges they were facing.”
“English Renaissance literature of this time, particularly the plays of William Shakespeare, continues to be world famous today,” added exhibition co-curator Adam Eaker, Associate Curator in the Department of European Paintings. “This exhibition gives us the opportunity to introduce The Met’s audiences to the stunning visual arts of the period and the ways that both artists and patrons used imagery to navigate the treacherous waters of court life. Rather than an illustrated history of the Tudor monarchy, it offers a fresh look at the incredible figurative and decorative arts made or acquired for the court.”

Exhibition Overview
England under the volatile Tudor dynasty was a thriving home for the arts. An international community of artists and merchants, many of them religious refugees from across Europe, navigated the high-stakes demands of royal patrons against the backdrop of shifting political relationships with mainland Europe. The Tudor courts were truly cosmopolitan, boasting the work of Florentine sculptors, German painters, Flemish weavers, and Europe’s best armorers…


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