About the paintings
Sixteen portraits – from William I to Mary I – are now on display at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the Making Art in Tudor Britain research project.
Research conducted on the paintings as part of the project has revealed that the wood used for the panels of all 16 portraits was felled at around the same date, making it possible that all the portraits in the set were produced around the same time, possibly as early as the 1590s.
Other technical analysis has also been conducted on the paintings including dendrochronology (tree-ring dating), infra-red analysis, x-radiography, paint sampling and microscopy. Although it is clear that not all 16 portraits were painted by the same artist, this analysis has revealed that there are distinctive groups within the set that were produced by the same hand or workshop.
Picturing History: A Portrait Set of Early Kings and Queens is on display at the National Portrait Gallery until 4 December 2011 and entrance to the gallery and exhibition is free. You can find out more about the portraits and the research programme at the National Portrait Gallery website.