cover image Dynasties


Rizzoli. Rizzoli International Publications, $60 (255pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-1940-9

The title of this elegant catalogue, published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Tate Gallery in London, refers mainly to the great ruling families in Britain during the reign of the Tudors and Stuarts, but it also alludes to family connections and professional alliances among the artists who portrayed the royalty and the upper classes in that era. In informative introductory essays, Hearn, assistant keeper in the British collection at the Tate, and other scholars discuss the relationship of painting to politics in England between 1530 and 1630; the production and replication of Holbein's portraits during the 16th century; and the domination of British art by artists from the continent, including Holbein, Zuccaro, Rubens and Van Dyck, even though distinguished English painters such as Larkin, Oliver, Gower and Peake were active at the same time. More than 150 works, paintings, sculptures and tapestries are reproduced here in full color. They depict monarchs, members of the court and the gentry dressed in finery and surrounded by coats of arms, trophies and other symbols of their power and status. One chapter addresses the methods and materials of three Tudor artists: Bettes, Hilliard and Ketel. (May)