Yesterday we spent a bit of time at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts enjoying the treasures that are housed there. The building has an amazing presence and is filled with nearly 100,000 works of art spanning over 5000 years of history. Truly something for everyone. It had rained on and off all day, but turned out quite lovely as you can see, with the skyline of downtown in view.
One of my most favorite periods in history is during the Tudor and Elizabethan reigns. I was very fascinated with the portraits gracing a portion of the walls on the third floor that were painted at the time.
This couple named Moritz and Anna Buchner lived in Germany and were of new money, he was the city alderman and a well to do merchant. The portraits were painted in 1520 in order to capture their status for posterity and were given pride of place.
I could not help looking into the man’s eyes that are so fixated. He would have been looking directly at the artist nearly 500 years ago, and I was looking right into his eyes as well. What was he thinking, what was going on around him, what was life really like at that time, what did his life turn out like, did they have children? I had to ponder.
In this year King Henry VIII was still married to his first wife and had a young 4 year old daughter.
This painting depicts a fair noblewoman who was most likely involved with the English court or the royal household. She is dressed in finery and holds a prayer book, which only those of wealth and status could afford at that time.
This painting was done in 1550, at this time ‘to be’ Queen Elizabeth was 17 and being held under minimal house arrest for ‘plotting against’ her half brother Edward VI. She would remain under suspicion for the next 3 years until his death.
This portrait of a seven year old girl was the daughter of French King Francis I. Her name was Charlotte and sadly only lived to her eighth year.
Painted in 1522, King Henry VIII’s own daughter Mary was only six at this time. Some 30 years later she would reign for 5 years after the death of her half brother Edward VI. She would come to be known as ‘Bloody Mary’ for her cruelty to the ‘heretic’ Protestants.
This lovely girl was painted in Germany in 1545. The colors and textural combinations are so beautiful. The details still look like items from Germany today.
In 1545 King Henry had only two years to live and after Edward and Mary’s death, Elizabeth would at last take the throne in 1558 where she remained for 45 years until her own death in 1603. These years gave England much peace and prosperity.
I hope you enjoyed this trip back in time. History has so much to teach us and so often repeats itself. Are there certain historical eras that you like learning about?
Have a great weekend and perhaps you can get out to visit a museum near you. dawn xo