Days Out With Bella: National Portrait Gallery

I was in my element in this gallery, because I love art! Coming from a family of creatives, I believe that art is so much more than expressing one's self. Art actually tells a story, it just depends on whether or not the viewer is willing to discover what the story is about. This post will be full of beautiful images, but I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stood prominently in the centre of this part of the gallery. It illustrates their love, the way they gaze into each other’s eyes shows how besotted they were with each other. They are both wearing Anglo-Saxon attire. Not only was Prince Albert the husband of Queen Victoria, but he was also her consort. Together they had nine children.

James VI and I of Scotland was the king of Scotland, Ireland and England. He became the first King to rule all three countries. At the age of one in 1567; James, the son of Mary Queen of Scots was crowned King of Scotland. Later in 1603 he inherited the English throne from his mother's cousin Queen Elizabeth.

Mary Queen of Scots was the daughter of Mary of Guise and James V. Her marriage to Lord Darnley produced her son James V of Scotland, but also led to her tragic end. She was executed by her cousin Elizabeth I for treason. I am fascinated by Mary Queen of Scots because her life was such a complicated one; from the decisions she made, to the level of trust she had for certain people. She made a lot of poor decisions in her rule and it is sad that her people eventually turned against her, but had she made better decisions she may well have lived a long, fruitful life.

This is said to be a sculpture of Mary Queen of Scots. I found it really fascinating, but also quite scary to look at! I have read about Mary Queen of Scots quite a lot and it was said that she was a very beautiful, alluring woman. Although the above statue did not give that impression as it seemed quite terrifying if I am honest with you!

King Henry VIII and his father King Henry VII. King Henry VIII's painter Hans Holbein created this magnificent masterpiece for Whitehall Palace. It was sadly destroyed in the fire at Whitehall Palace in 1698.

Anne Boleyn, one of Henry VIII's many wives who sadly met a tragic end at his hand. They were married in 1533 and Anne Boleyn gave birth to Elizabeth I in the same year. Henry VIII desperately wanted a son, so he had Anne charged with incest and adultery, she was later beheaded. Henry VIII went on to remarry.

Queen Elizabeth I 'The Coronation Portrait,' this painting shows a very young Queen Elizabeth I. The Queen wears the cloth of gold whilst holding the sceptre and the orb showing clear signs of her power and authority. I think that this picture shows that Queen Elizabeth I had so much power in her hands and I wonder if at the time she had any idea that she would go on to become one of the greatest monarch the world had ever seen.

Queen Elizabeth I 'The Ditchley Portrait,' shows a much older Queen Elizabeth standing gracefully as she looks directly ahead of her. What is very interesting about this portrait is Queen Elizabeth I is standing on the globe of the world. Above her head the sky is parted to reveal one side with what appears to be thunder and a storm and the other side breaks away from that revealing sunshine. This is extremely thought provoking because could this possibly be describing Queen Elizabeth's personality?! After all she did sentence her first cousin Queen Mary of Scots to death. Perhaps the painter was depicting that she had a bad side and quite possibly a good one too.

The 'Darnley Portrait,' the artist of this portrait of Queen Elizabeth remains unknown. Queen Elizabeth I received many proposals from eligible suitors, but she decided never to marry. Her decision led her to be called, 'The Virgin Queen.'

Katherine Parr was the 6th and last of King Henry VIII's wives (thank God!) It just seemed that King Henry VIII used and discarded his many wives at his leisure. He was almost like a spoil sport who liked everything to be on his terms. Anyway, enough about him for now! Katherine Parr appeared to have a way with the aging King Henry VIII and she was very helpful with his children, in fact she was an admirable stepmother to Mary, Elizabeth I and Edward. She went on to outlive her husband.

There was so much more to see here, but I did not capture the other portraits because I came mainly for the Tudors and Stuarts! Bella looked at the different paintings with us and she was able to point out and identify different objects. Her favourite phrases to say about the paintings were, "mummy look crown!" and "pretty dress!" All in all, I loved seeing the portraits up close and personal. As stated earlier art tells a story, if you look closely enough you will be able to uncover so many secrets!

Have you ever been to the National Portrait Gallery? If so, what caught your eye the most? Comment below and let's talk!

With Love,


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