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Painting of Jane Popincourt by Michael Perry, commissioned for The Queen's Servants

Painting of Jane Popincourt by Michael Perry, commissioned for The Queen's Servants

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• Original artwork by Michael Perry
• Pencil and acrylic on artboard
• 14¾in (38cm) x 10½in (27cm)
• Signed by the artist
• Made exclusively for The Tudor Tailor

This artwork by Michael Perry was specially commissioned by the Tudor Tailor and features in the book The Queen’s Servants: gentlewoman’s dress at the accession of Henry VIII. The book offers a detailed insight into women’s dress at the beginning of the sixteenth century. It paints a vivid picture of the styles of dress worn at Henry VII’s and Henry VIII’s courts, using evidence from a variety of sources.

The Tudor Tailor specially commissioned a series of paintings which bring to life specific women included in the book, based on garments provided for them as part of their positions in the Tudor court. All of the paintings were carried out in pencil and acrylic on art board with items that were assumed but not listed in the documents being depicted in pencil only.

This particular painting depicts Jane Popincourt, gentlewoman to the Lady Mary (daughter of Henry VII and sister of the future Henry VIII) in 1503. Jane Popincourt was a Frenchwoman in the service of Henry VII. Jane’s share in Mary’s warrant of June 1503 provided her with two black cloth gowns, one of which was lined buckram and edged with a yard of black velvet. The other gown was lined with five yards of black cotton and edged with shanks (lambskin), with a white leather skin to line this edge. The kirtle cost two shillings to make, using 2½ ells of black worsted, lined with 1¾ yards of cotton. In addition, the warrant included a bonnet and frontlet of velvet and a partlet of satin together with footwear, linens and laces.

Although black appears very frequently in the clothing of ladies and gentlewomen, this issue is notable in being entirely black, as are the Lady Mary’s clothes on the same warrant. Queen Elizabeth of York had died in February, and the warrant for the traditional mourning outfits of the Ladies Mary and Margaret is dated in May, only one month earlier than this warrant.

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