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Images of Power: Royal iconography during the Plantagenet period

Giaconda's Blog

Combining my two great loves, history and art, I want to look at some of the imagery used to depict Plantagenet kings during the period and taking a few examples examine what the visual language may be telling us about how kingship was viewed and how the kings themselves wanted to be perceived.

Imagery as propaganda – of course, imagery linked to concepts of status and power – certainly, imagery as a means of establishing a link with another age – well that’s much more subjective yet many of us might admit to studying the faces of those kings whether it be on their tomb effigies or in portraits which have survived and longing to understand them or to read something of their drives and motivations from the shading and stance, the lines on their faces and the expression of their gaze. This is a very understandable human response to the mystery…

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2 thoughts on “Images of Power: Royal iconography during the Plantagenet period

  1. The picture you posted here is not the restored version of the Society of Antiquaries portrait. It’s a modern copy of it, which was commissioned by John Ashdown-Hill (and an awful copy, I’d say. He looks barely human and creepier in it than on any of the Tudor era portraits).

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  2. The real restored version of the portrait, alongside the version before the restoration, can be seen here: http://www.richardiii.net/2_4_0_riii_appearance.php Not on top of the page – that’s the modern copy – but below, under the title “Society of Antiquaries of London”.

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