During the volatile Tudor dynasty, England was a thriving home for the arts. An international community of artists and merchants, many of them religious refugees, navigated the high stakes demands of royal patrons, including England’s first two reigning queens. Against the backdrop of shifting political relationships with mainland Europe, Tudor artistic patronage legitimized, promoted, and stabilized a series of tumultuous reigns, from Henry VII’s seizure of the throne in 1485 to the death of his granddaughter Elizabeth I in 1603. The Tudor courts were truly cosmopolitan, boasting the work of Florentine sculptors; German painters; Flemish weavers; and Europe’s best armorers, goldsmiths, and printers, while also contributing to the emergence of a distinctly English style. This exhibition traces the transformation of the arts in Tudor England through more than 80 objects—including iconic portraits, spectacular tapestries, manuscripts, sculpture, and armor—from both the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection and international lenders.
The exhibition catalogue is edited by Elizabeth Cleland and Adam Eaker with contributions by Marjorie E. Wieseman and Sarah Bochicchio, and is published by Yale University Press. The exhibition is organized by The Cleveland Museum of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF). It is on view at the Met from 10 October 2022 to 8 January 2023 and at FAMSF from 24 June 2023 to 24 September 2023.