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X-rays Reveal Hidden Secrets of Tudor Portraits
The Guardian (UK) ^ | 1/3/12 | Paddy Allen and Mark Brow

Posted on 01/04/2013 6:41:32 AM PST by marshmallow

National Portrait Gallery surprised to find image of the Virgin and Child under painting of Queen Elizabeth I's loyal spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham

He was the eyes and ears of Elizabeth I, the loyal spymaster and ruthless counterterror chief: Sir Francis Walsingham was the man who knew everything. Or not quite everything, it seems. Certainly not that his portrait was secretly painted over an overtly Roman Catholic image of the holy Virgin and Child.

“He would not have been delighted,” speculated Dr Tarnya Cooper, standing in front of the remarkable new discovery going on show at the National Portrait Gallery. “You do wonder if the artist might be enjoying a private joke."

The gallery on Thursday opened a display showing x-rays of devotional paintings it has discovered underneath its portraits of two key Tudor statesmen. As well as a Virgin and Child under Walsingham, researchers found A Flagellation of Christ under the Queen’s lord treasurer Thomas Sackville.

The Walsingham portrait dates from the 1580s when Protestant England was isolated and supporting the war in the Netherlands against the Spanish.

“The Catholics are the absolute enemy at this period so the idea that you’ve got this wonderful devotional image underneath your portrait would probably be rather horrifying to him,” Cooper, the NPG’s chief curator, said.

It was a surprise finding. “There is not very much that Walsingham does not know about of what’s going on in courts across Europe, he has a huge network of informers, is an incredibly wily man and is someone with a public reputation. For somebody who is not wonderfully keen on Walsingham this would be a clever way of getting at him."

The NPG believes it cannot be accidental that after x-raying more than 120 Tudor portraits and mostly finding nothing, it found an image......

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic; History; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs

1 posted on 01/04/2013 6:41:40 AM PST by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow
Knowing Walsingham, it's more likely that he stole them and had them painted over.
2 posted on 01/04/2013 6:44:36 AM PST by wideawake
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To: marshmallow

Slightly related: It is said of Guy Fawkes that he was the only man who ever enter parliament and be honest about his intentions.

3 posted on 01/04/2013 6:51:53 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: marshmallow

recycling in action.

4 posted on 01/04/2013 7:21:10 AM PST by RitchieAprile (the obstreperous gentleman..)
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To: wideawake
That seems more likely ... much the same way that mohammedans convert conquered Churches into mosques.
5 posted on 01/04/2013 7:30:12 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: marshmallow

Hey mm,

Notice the Economist has the portrait of the spymaster, yet lacks the image of Madonna & Child. Why don’t they delete Walsingham? Cynical minds want to know?

6 posted on 01/04/2013 7:52:00 AM PST by STD (We're all Europeans Now?)
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To: marshmallow

Images, pictures and lies. Deception, there’s nothing new under the sun. Solomon

7 posted on 01/04/2013 7:57:48 AM PST by STD (“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say 'It's as plain as the)
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To: RitchieAprile

Hah, that was my first thought too. Merrie old England was going green back then.

8 posted on 01/04/2013 9:21:38 AM PST by Conservative4Ever (I'm going Galt)
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To: SunkenCiv


9 posted on 01/04/2013 10:38:12 AM PST by houeto (
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To: houeto

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks houeto.

Just updating the GGG information, not sending a general distribution.

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.

10 posted on 01/04/2013 8:14:03 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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