Thursday, November 4, 2010

Henry VIII's "Lost" Palace

Interesting article on a rare painting of Henry VIII's "lost" palace, Nonsuch, built to rival François's great châteaux and standing only 150 years before falling into disrepair. Henry began the palace in 1538 to celebrate the birth of his son and to prove that he could equal François's architectural prowess. The name he chose for it implies that no other palace could equal its magnificence. Unfortunately, Henry's grand palace was dismantled in the late seventeenth century by Charles II's mistress Barbara Villiers to pay off her gambling debts.

Joris Hoefnagel's painting is one of only four extant depictions of Nonsuch and one of the earliest surviving watercolors executed in England.

The article includes a large reproduction of the painting, amazing in its detail.


Marg said...

That dastardly Barbara Villiers!

Theresa Bruno said...

Charles II had such fascinating mistresses. Nell was better, but I still like you Barbara!