Thoughts on the Portrayal of Historical Figures and Present Values.

Updated: Jul 30

This post is largely speculative, and seeks to engage a sharing of ideas in terms of how we perceive and engage with historical figures. If we were to take a look at Han's Holbein's infamous portrait of Henry VIII (pictured below), it attempts to demonstrate just how strong and stable the Tudor dynasty was. Of course in looking at this 500 years later we see the irony. The agenda of this painting to promote England's image is readily decipherable through visual cues such as stature and youthful appearance that masked reality- the King was suffering from weakness and old age, and plagued with ailments at the time of this portrait's creation.


2020 has seen great incitements of social change and much of British history as is taught has been exposed for being so sheltered and glorified. So what does this mean for infamous mysoginists such as Henry VIII? Theoretically if a feminist protest were to happen could we expect defacement and iconoclasm of imagery concerning his portraiture? Or are we too detached from this period of history for it to matter? Please comment some thoughts!


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