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Panel Painting Saxon King (standing)

Object number
Unknown artist
Production date
Circa 1515
Production place
Oil Paint
Oil on panel
Height: 1430mm
Width: 760mm
Burlington House - (on display)
    This oil of oak panel painting of an unknown Saxon king is the second largest of the six fragments known collectively as the 'Saxon Kings'.

    The six panels are constructed from thirteen oak boards. The minimum height of the composition is 1.75m and the minimum width, allowing for the eight figures that either survive in partial form or that were recorded by Stothard is 6.44m. The panels were thus once part of a large and impressive scheme.

    Their derivation from a single composition is indicated by the green brocade curtain behind the kings, powdered with red and gold motifs and with a fleur-de-lis behind Athelstan. A border of white and red runs top and bottom behind the kings, at mouth level behind Athelstan (LDSAL509.1) and the head with a red hat (LDSAL509.4), and at eye level behind the kneeling king (LDSAL509.3) and the king seen here, indicating differing status. This unknown king also shows in perspective the counter-change tiled floor. This curtain and forestage formula for a long frieze had been popular in Italy and Germany since the mid-fifteenth century and, through engravings, had filtered into East Anglian screen painting before 1500.