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Henry Monro was the son of Dr Thomas Monro, a collector and host of the famous London ‘Academy’ where the young Turner copied and studied drawing. This picture won a premium of one hundred guineas at the British Institution in 1813, the year before his untimely death. The Institution was keen to promote historical painting by British artists.Henry VIII humbles his over-mighty subject, Cardinal Wolsey. British painters had led the Romantic fashion for historicism and painting subjects from the national past. Their pictures were to influence French painters like Paul Delaroche, who were interested in the evolution of constitutional monarchy.

May 2007