Tests on rare Arthur portrait

July 21 2022 | Castle History

Tests have been taking place to discover more about a rare portrait of Henry VIII’s brother, Arthur, the first husband of Catherine of Aragon.

The artwork, which was purchased in 2005 as the only surviving portrait of Arthur painted in his lifetime, is currently on display in the Castle’s Long Gallery.

The painting was previously owned by the Royal Collection from at least 1542 until 1714 when it was sold into a private collection.

In 1993 it came up for auction and it underwent dendrochronological analysis by the respected Scientist Ian Tyers. This came back with a date for the felling of the tree on which the artwork was painted on of around 1460.

Research is now taking place to discover whether the Arthur portrait was created by Meynnart Wewyck, the court painter of Henry VII.

The Arthur portrait has undergone a number of non-invasive tests which include x-ray and infrared imaging.

Other tests including scanning macro-X-ray fluorescence analysis (MA-XRF), which allows for the detailed visualization of hidden paint layers.

The results are expected by the end of the year – watch this space for more information.