I am delighted to offer this rare oil on panel of King Edward VI (1537-1553) as a young child of around 10 years of age which has been painted with great detail as a full length passage portrait in the Manner of William Scrots and set within a later 18th century decorative plaster mounded gilt frame.The portrait is estimated to date from 1670-1700 and is a rare and unique surviving historic work which any museum or private collector would be excited to own as a display piece or investment.
The image is unusual, broadly similar but not quite the same as the various 'Scrots' templates. However the identical image, same size, panel, etc is in the collection at Trinity College, Cambridge.
As an official royal likeness portraits of this type were in circulation from circa 1550 and were particularly favoured by noble families who wished to demonstrate their allegiance to the monarchy. This portrait was almost certainly one of a group of corridor portraits designed to hang beside fellow monarchs and men and women of rank and historical note.
ABOUT THE YOUNG BOY KING
EDWARD VI (1537-1553) was King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was the only legitimate son of Henry VIII and his third wife, Jane Seymour.
He was born at Hampton Court on October 12th, 1531, His mother dying 12 days later. The heir to the throne, ''His Majesty's most noble jewel'', was brought up with every precaution to ensure his good health. Recent research reveals him as a normally strong and healthy boy, fond of athletic exercises such as hunting and hawking.
Edward was little more than nine when he succeeded to the throne on the death of his father in 1547. In April 1552 he suffered from measles and smallpox, recovering by the end of May, and thereafter he was very much under the influence of the Duke of Northumberland.
Early in 1553 Edward became ill with consumption, from which he never recovered. At this time the Duke of Northumberland convinced Edward to ''devise'' the succession to Lady Jane Grey, Northumberland''s daughter-in-law. Edward died on 6th July 1553 and was buried at Whitehall.
After his accession to the throne, Edward appears to have sat only once more for his portrait in around 1550 and was painted by William Scrots. This sitting was the likely source for all subsequent variants, in all shapes and sizes, produced of Edward as the King by the Scrots studio, both during the monarch's brief reign and after Elizabeth I's accession and the subsequent re-affirmation of the Protestant faith.
Scrots had been court painter to the Regent of the Netherlands, Mary of Hungary , and was recruited by Henry VIII as Holbein's successor at the close of 1545. His work, covering less than 10 years in this country, has never been satisfactorily reconstructed.
One certain work can be associated with him from this period - the distorted perspective portrait of Edward dated 1546 (National Portrait Gallery, London). This bore the signature ''Guilhelmus pingebat'' as late as 1713.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:-
WILLIAM (GUILLIM) SCROTS fl.1537-1553. Court portrait painter from the Netherlands. Painter to Mary of Hungary, Regent of the Netherlands,1537, and persuaded to come to England in 1545, probably to succeed Holbein. He was perhaps the most able available Hapsburg Court portrait painter at the time. He disappears from the Royal Accounts in 1553.
Charles James Toovey Esq., Harley House, Regents Park, London.
With Leggatt's, London, by 1929. Sold for £29 to Captain A.S. Wills (1879-1961) of Thornby Hall, Northamptonshire. Then by descent through the family at Middleton House, Longparish, Hampshire.
Our Ref 0787