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About the Book
Art Clues on...
Vlad Dracula
Richard III
Henry VIII
Anne Boleyn
Anne of Cleves
Mary Queen of Scots
Elizabeth I
Louis XIV
Peter the Great
Marie Antoinette
Napoleon Bonaparte
Catherine the Great
George III

Art Detectives

Henry VIII - Tudor fashion
Tudor Fashion: SlashingYou may notice in many of Henry's clothing that there are pieces of fabric pulled through his jacket. This was called slashing and it was a hot fashion trend in Tudor times. It started even before Henry's day when men would come off the battlefield with their clothing ripped. Everyone liked the shredded look and they began purposely slitting holes in their fabric and then pulling their undershirts though the holes. The idea was that you were supposed to have that manly "fresh from battle" appearance, but Henry (in his later years) had more of a fresh from the banquet table look.

Does this padding make me look fat?

On page 15, I have grossly exaggerated Henry's plumpness, but there is some truth in his dough boy attire. Too hide his expanding girth, Henry began wearing padded clothes with puffy sleeves. Out of respect for the king, everyone at court started wearing padded clothing too, and a new trend was born—fat clothes!

Henry VIII's codpieceBoxers, Briefs or Codpiece?

Henry also started the 16th century "my codpiece is bigger than yours" trend. A codpiece was basically a cup to cover up a man's private bits. It sort of looked like today's athletic cups accept it was worn on the outside of the clothing and was decorated with bows and jewels. (thus the term "family jewels.") Along with providing modesty, the codpiece doubled as a man purse for coins, small weapons and snuff. (Think of it as wearing boxers with a built in fanny pack.) Never one to seem small, Henry began padding his codpiece and his court followed suit. Soon, the once inconspicuous codpiece became a ridiculous bulge.

I originally painted Henry with a codpiece and decided to remove it because it looked like he had a horrific tumor.


Big Fat Henry VIII

Texture and Details

Learn how to create Henry's fur, crackle texture and fabric patterns in this tutorial
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