William Shakespeare’s history plays have shaped perceptions of the Plantagenet kings for centuries, with a cast of characters ranging from the flawed Richard II to the heroic Henry V. The plays were not created in isolation, but drew extensively on the historical accounts that were published in the sixteenth century to justify and celebrate the position of the Tudor dynasty, fuelling an interest in English history that also encouraged the production of posthumous portraits. This small display examines the Tudor construction of Plantagenet portraits and their legacy in the popular imagination.

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