• In fine style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion
  • In fine style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion
  • In fine style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion
  • In fine style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion
  • In fine style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion

In Fine Style

In Fine Style

Service Pack: Core Service

Subject: Art History

The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion – high resolution images from the Royal Collection Trust

The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace: 10 May – 6 October 2013

This exhibition explores the sumptuous costume of British monarchs and their courtiers during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries through portraits in the Royal Collection. During this period fashion was central to court life and was an important way to display social status. Royalty and the elite were the tastemakers of the day, often directly influencing the styles of fashionable clothing.

The exhibition follows the changing fashions of the period, demonstrating the international proliferation of styles and showing how clothes could convey important messages. Including works by Hans Holbein the Younger, Nicholas Hilliard, Van Dyck and Peter Lely, the exhibition brings together over 60 paintings, as well as drawings, garments, jewellery, accessories and armour.

Have you ever wondered what you would look like in Tudor or Stuart costume?

This free interactive app lets you try on the outfits and accessories of the rich and powerful of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Download the In Fine Style app (from the Additional resources tab), take a photo of yourself, and then try on fashionable clothes selected from the paintings in the exhibition.

The app is inspired by a rare 17th-century portrait miniature of the wife of Charles I, Queen Henrietta Maria, and a set of painted transparent overlays that transform the queen’s costume, hairstyle and even her gender.

Painted transparent overlays

The mid-17th century saw a vogue for an unusual type of miniature which could be dressed in a variety of different outfits by placing painted transparent overlays on top of the master image.

Constructed from very thin slices of the mineral mica, these overlays included outfits with appropriate accessories. When placed on top of the portrait, these semi-transparent discs transformed the costume and hairstyle of the sitter, creating a new composite picture.

Only around 45 of these miniatures with mica overlays have been recorded in museum collections across the world.

Schools’ Programme

Writing out of history, Tudors and Stuarts: Creative Writing

This workshop highlights the many possibilities for inspiring Creative Writing from paintings, in comparison to more familiar sources such as books and the internet. Focussing on characters within the paintings, prints and drawings featured in the exhibition, pupils will discover narratives in the images and explore the themes of description, dialogue and monologue. Pupils will leave the workshop with new ideas, insightful notes and short written pieces to enable them to develop a completed story back at school.

Key Stage 2 – 5
Duration: 2 hours

Heads above the Ruffs - Drawing skills workshop: Key stage 5

Students will work with freelance artists to examine and draw portraiture both in life and through the paintings from the exhibition. The workshop will enable students to engage with sumptuous costume of British monarchs and their court during the 16th and 17th centuries through portraits in the Royal Collection. The session will enhance their understanding of the works of art and develop their own skills through the artist led drawing class, using a life-model, an example of the Tudor uniform of The Yeoman of the Guard and a replica seventeenth century armour.

Key Stage 5
Duration: 4 hours

Tudor fashion, pageantry and dance

The session allows pupils to examine Tudor fashion through replica dress and portraits from the exhibition. Children will explore the layers and construction of Tudor dress relating it to monarchs of the period and the importance of pageantry, masques and performance. The class will be taken into the gallery where certain portraits will be examined and detailed drawings of costume designs made. The session will culminate with the class learning a Tudor dance and performing ’The Masque of the Frozen River Thames’.

Key Stage 2 – 3
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

Learning to look at Tudor and Stuart Portraits

This session enables pupils studying Art & Design and History to examine some of the techniques and skills used to look at an historical image and analyse the clues and narratives portrayed. Focussing on arguably some of the finest examples of portraits from Britain and Europe in the Tudor and Stuart periods the session will highlight how visual and tactile qualities of processes used by the artists convey mood, ideas and feelings through the paintings and drawings on display. Through discussion and sketching pupils will make comparisons with other images in the exhibition and make links between the similar styles and techniques used.

Key Stage 2 – 4
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

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