Our 12th illustration from Tudor Queens and Consorts was a fun challenge to interpret. There are many fascinating aspects to the original vellum roll depicting Henry VIII processing to parliament on February 4, 1512. However, because I wanted my drawing to fill the page of the book, I needed to pull out some of the most important pieces from the original (and very horizontal) illustration. While planning this page, Natalie and I had some funny conversations, including my asking if the acolytes carrying the canopy were small monks or children with shaved heads. The original facial expressions are more mature but neither of us could be sure. Was this symbolism or an actual observation from the artist? These questions, along with my inclination to add a new linear perspective to the two-dimensional view, inspired me to obscure the faces of the acolytes and keep some of the ambiguity of the original.
In looking at the original, I find it interesting to see that the artist left open space for other names and coats of arms. In addition to the ambiguously-aged acolytes, we see a young King Henry VIII walking under a canopy, led by the Bearer of the Sword of State, while a duke carries the train of his mantle. I also added a hint of a stone wall and ground beneath so they are not floating in space. As a final touch, I added three more “title” elements: The hand-written banner at the top with the words “Henry by the Grace of God King of England,” the all-important Tudor Rose and, on the bottom right, a simplified version of the Duke of Buckingham’s coat of arms.