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Joos van Cleve (1485/90-1540/1)

Henry VIII c. 1530-5

RCIN 403368

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This portrait may have been painted as a pendant to one of Francis I (Philadelphia Museum of Art), perhaps to commemorate a royal meeting in France in 1532. Or van Cleve based his portrait on that of Francis I, hoping to gain future English royal commissions. The inscription on the scroll translates as, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’, perhaps a reference to Henry’s title ‘Defender of the Faith’.