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Shaw has copied Hans Holbein the Younger’s portrait of Jane Seymour, the third wife of Henry VIII, and playfully embellished it with dramatic explosions and animal features. What may appear as a desecration is regarded by Shaw as a homage that emphasises how this historical figure has been supplanted by her iconic portrait. ‘Henry and Holbein have been dead for centuries and so will we pass away, but the symbols remain’, he has said.

September 2008