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Henry VIII’s Widow’s Portrait Draws Highest Price Ever for Tudor Painting

By Lori Perkins

A portrait of Katherine Parr fetched millions at a Sotheby’s auction. Courtesy of Sotheby's

In a Sotheby’s auction held in London last week, the portrait of Katherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of Henry VIII, sold for $.4. 4 million, almost four times what the most recent portrait of the King sold at his last auction, and also four times what it was expected to go for making it the most valuable Tudor painting ever sold in auction.


There are only two known portraits of this widowed queen, and this painting was thought to have been destroyed in the ‘60’s.


According to The Observer, the portrait is attributed to an unknown painter referred to as “Master John” and was mistakenly recorded as having been destroyed by a fire in 1969. The only other painting of this Queen was also painted by this artist and hangs in London’s National Portrait Gallery.


This portrait was thought to have been painted after Henry’s death in 1547, when Parr was Queen Dowager of England and Ireland.


Not to be outdone by Henry VIII, Katherine was married four times. She died in childbirth in 1548.


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