Tate Britain

1540

Main Floor
Sir Nathaniel Bacon, ‘Cookmaid with Still Life of Vegetables and Fruit’ c.1620–5
Sir Nathaniel Bacon, Cookmaid with Still Life of Vegetables and Fruit c.1620–5. Tate

Start the journey through 500 years of British art with works from 1540–1650

This early period of British art focuses on portraiture, the family dynasty and status. Curator Tim Batchelor

Video placeholder

This is the first room of the Walk Through British Art – the earliest part of the collection, dating from around 1540 through to the 1640s. Artworks come from the last years of the reign of Henry VIII, through the period of Elizabeth I and the Armada, up to Charles I and the Civil War period, covering a long and very eventful period of British painting.

One genre of painting dominated in Britain at that time – nearly all the artworks in this room are portraits, but there are one or two exceptions. In among the portraits you can spot religious artworks, which cast a different light on the religious and moral values of the time.

Venue

Tate Britain
Millbank
London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit

Art in this room

All rooms in this display

We recommend

A queer walk through British art

Explore some of the ways sexualities and gender identities have been thought about and depicted in British art