For years it was assumed by staff at Lambeth Palace that the oil painting hanging in a private sitting room was of Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth wife. But when experts from the National Portrait Gallery went to the Palace - the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury - to research a portrait of an earlier archbishop, they were able to shed new light on the matter. First, the portrait was in a frame that pre-dated the rotund monarch's sixth wife, second; her clothes were from an earlier period, and third, well, the woman also bore a startling resemblance to Henry's first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Tests soon showed that they were right, and now the gallery has hung the portrait of the devoutly Catholic queen rather mischievously, side by side with a portrait of Henry, whose desperation to divorce her was the catalyst for England's schism with the Catholic church. The 'exciting discovery' about the picture was made when researchers from the National Portrait Gallery went to Lambeth Palace to find out more about William Warham, the Archbishop of Canterbury who married Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, in 1509.
The researchers, who were working on a project called Making Art In Tudor Britain, noticed the painting on the wall of a private sitting room, where it has hung since at least the 19th century but probably longer, under the assumption it depicted Catherine Parr. (Read entire article.)
|Young Henry VIII|
More on Katherine of Aragon in art, HERE.