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Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543)

William Parr, later Marquess of Northampton (1513-1571) c.1538-42

RCIN 912231

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At the court of Henry VIII sumptuary laws dictated what types of fabrics, colours and garments could be worn at each level of society. On this drawing Holbein notes that the sitter is wearing a gown of purple velvet, a fabric usually reserved for royalty and possibly reflective of Parr’s special standing in the royal household as captain of the Gentleman Pensioners. Designs for jewellery and a medallion or hat badge (both of which have been left blank on the figure) can be seen in the top left.