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Edward VI (1537–1553)

Photo credit: Compton Verney

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Edward VI became King in 1547 at the age of ten and ruled for six years until his death in 1553. This important profile portrait includes both the red and white rose, emblems of the Houses of Lancaster and York respectively, which were the two dynasties united by Edward’s grandfather, Henry VII (1457–1509), in 1485. Edward is shown in profile, with a group of plants and herbs that, instead of turning to the sun as heliotropic plants do, are turning to the young King. An elaborate text beneath, in both Italian and Latin, reiterates the power of the King as mightier than the sun. This portrait may have been painted for the Stanhope family, relations of Edward VI’s uncle and chief minister, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector (about 1506–1552).

Compton Verney

Compton Verney




oil on panel


H 58 x W 68 cm

Accession number

CVCSC : 0337.B

Acquisition method

purchased, 2004

Work type


Inscription description

painted : poem in Italian and Latin : Jupiter, whose sacred power governs the sky, the sea and the earth / Jupiter, whose power governs the ether and the heavens / Jupiter who does not keep the flames of the mighty to himself / But who puts to flight the golden stars with their bright rays / We ask you to witness how Clytia, a flowering plant amongst these roses / Rightly unites King Edward with Phoebus the Sun


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Compton Verney

Compton Verney, Warwickshire CV35 9HZ England

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