Another of my favourite portraits is that of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex. Again, seeing the portrait in the gallery is different to seeing it in a book. What strikes me about this portrait is Cromwell's 'double chin' and the lines around his eyes. He looks very severe, and in my opinion is not a 'vanity' portrait.
The gallery has developed the use of 'infra red' technology to 'see' beneath the original layers of the portrait. In this portrait of Thomas Cranmer, the artist changed the position of the hands, the lettering of the books Cranmer is reading, and a ring on the end of a piece of ribbon in one of the books has been painted out. Makes me wonder did Cranmer himself ask for the changes or was it the artist?
I grew up with this portrait identified as Lady Jane Grey. It was only a few years ago it was identified as Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth wife. It's all to do with the crown-shaped brooch the sitter is wearing - it's been identified in an inventory of Catherine's jewels. It's a full-length portrait, and I love the detail of her hands.