This exhibition chronicles the Tudor dynasty through nearly 100 objects, offering a new range of perspectives on the era.
Spanning five monarchs, from Henry VII to Elizabeth I, The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics captures an extraordinary 118-year reign through portraits, artefacts, objects and documents. Nearly 70 works come from the National Portrait Gallery’s renowned Tudor collection, many of which have never been lent for exhibition before. Objects from institutions across the UK complete the showcase, including the Bacton Altar Cloth, thought to be the only surviving example of Elizabeth I’s clothing.
The exhibition reveals titanic shifts in the history of 16th century England, from conflicts with Scotland, France and Spain through to the upheaval of the Reformation. The Armada Maps, illustrating the drama of the maritime battle with the Spanish Armada, are joined by the Westminster Tournament Roll, which marked the birth of Henry VIII’s son with Katherine of Aragon (he later died in infancy). Portraits of famous figures including Mary Queen of Scots, Thomas Cromwell and Shakespeare help to illustrate the profound influence of the era.
The Walker Art Gallery also highlights some lesser represented aspects of the period, including Black Tudor history and LGBTQ+ history, presenting the Tudors from a range of perspectives that better reflect the diverse communities of the time.