Tate Britain


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

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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.


Tate Britain
London SW1P 4RG
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Art in this room

Unknown artist, Britain The Cholmondeley Ladies


Unknown artist, Britain An Allegory of Man

1596 or after

Steven van der Meulen, Steven van Herwijck Portrait of Elizabeth I


All rooms in this display

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