You are invited to attend Buckingham Palace for the Private View of the Royal Collection’s forthcoming major exhibition ‘Holbein at the Tudor Court’: the date is Monday, November 13, 2023: fully booked and event successfully concluded

We are delighted to announce that as a Member of CountryClubuk you are invited to attend Buckingham Palace for the Private View of the Royal Collection’s forthcoming major exhibition ‘Holbein at the Tudor Court’. The date is Monday, November 13, 2023. The time is 6.15pm (to 8pm).
This will be an unmissable exhibition. ‘Holbein at the Tudor Court’ will represent the largest group of Holbein’s exquisite works from the Royal Collection to be exhibited in more than 30 years.
We shall be among the first to see this major Royal exhibition, including many works that for conservation reasons are seldom seen on public view, and we shall do so during a Private View followed by a glass of English sparkling wine. The event will open with a 30-minute talk by this major exhibition’s Curator, art expert Kate Heard.
Hans Holbein was one of the most talented artists of the 16th century. From his arrival in England as a fugitive from Germany in search of work, he rose to royal favour, becoming the artist chosen to paint the portraits of Henry VIII, his family and leading figures of the court, among them Anne Boleyn and Sir Thomas More. By his death, Holbein’s work was as admired by his contemporaries as it is today. His portraits inspired the next generation of artists in their depictions of Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.
Now more than 100 works from Henry VIII’s court are being brought together, including drawings, paintings and miniatures. The heart of the exhibition showcases more than 40 portrait drawings that Holbein made during personal sittings. The sketches were made in preparation for finished paintings, and it was in these brilliantly detailed works that Holbein sought to capture the essence of the sitter.
Sketches include those of Princess Mary, who later became Queen of England, Prince Edward, who later became King Edward VI, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour and Sir Thomas More. The drawings cannot be on permanent display due to conservation reasons, so this will be a rare opportunity to study Holbein’s methods and the details of his extraordinary work. Not only his work, but how it defined an entire era.
From Holbein’s famous portrait of Henry VIII to The Ambassadors, his paintings have come to capture and identify a fascinating age of British history. Born in 1497, the artist spent two periods of his life in England portraying the nobility of the Tudor court, from 1526-28 and 1532-43. His paintings marked historic occasions in English life and were a powerful tool in dynastic negotiations of the time.
During our Private View we shall explore how the court culture of England formed a fertile ground for Holbein’s sensational success in England—and also how its febrile nature tempered him as an artist.
The exhibition reveals not only some of the most startling portraits in existence, but how Holbein came to paint them against a backdrop of Tudor court intrigue. The more Holbein came to understand the realities of life at Henry VIII’s court, the more he trod warily—a trait which can be seen clearly in the works on view. Many of his subjects later lost their heads, including his initial patron Sir Thomas More, who with his family were early subjects for Holbein. Another, the poet Thomas Wyatt, narrowly escaped this fate, despite being accused of adultery with Anne Boleyn and likely watched her beheading from his prison cell. Wyatt writes in a poem: ‘Beware of courts for—around thrones, thunder rolls.’
This exhibition showcases one of the most important surviving collections of Holbein’s work, and includes drawings, paintings, miniatures and book illustrations not only celebrating Holbein’s artistic skill, but exploring the lives of those who commissioned portraits from him. The works bring us face-to-face with some of the most famous people of 16th century England, and this is Holbein’s legacy to us: through Holbein we know exactly who these people were in every detail, how they looked, what they wore, and the scene in which they lived. Holbein allowed us to view the Tudors as if they were alive today.
We are delighted that our Members are invited to this Private View, guaranteeing the best views of this exhibition which the public will see up to 400 people at a time. Our Private View is limited in numbers, and bookings are on a first-come-first-served basis, so please read on for details and how to book.
Our Private View costs only £49 per person for CountryClubuk Members and their personal guests.
To book by phone, to stay the night in London at your exclusive Club rates, to book for dinner, and to request any further details, please call the Member Services team on 020 7399 2960.
¶ To extend the pleasure of the occasion you may wish to book for dinner at a nearby restaurant of your choice: The Ritz Restaurant, The Dorchester Grill, The Savoy River Restaurant, The Colony Grill and Wiltons are among the delicious options where our Members enjoy a complimentary glass of Champagne! Please call Member Services on 020 7399 2960 or click here to email your hotel or restaurant request.