A Drawing by 'Robertus Pyte' for Henry VIII

Howard, Maurice (2001) A Drawing by 'Robertus Pyte' for Henry VIII. Architectural History, 44. pp. 22-28. ISSN 0066-622X

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In the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum is a drawing on two attached pieces of parchment measuring 68 by 44 cm, clearly carried out entirely by one hand (Fig. 1). The image is drawn in pen, with some applied wash, but it is possible that some silverpoint technique had also been used. Sharply incised lines around many of the figures suggest the intention of getting back to the ground beneath the preparation, to create the effects of highlights or perhaps to float colour or gold into these indentations. It is signed ROBERTUS PYTE on two steps at the bottom left and dated 1546 on the step at the far right. At some point in its history, perhaps when it was framed for the first time, it would appear that the drawing was trimmed on both sides, the topmost architectural element (likely to have been a shaped gable with curved sides) cut through, the upper peice of the parchment cut into a triangular shape and dark brown-coloured strips added with a later owner's monogram. The drawing came to the Museum in 1864 for the price of one guinea, thanks to the good offices of C.J. Richardson, and is mentioned in the Bulletin of the Acquisitions of the Museums of Sciences and Arts at the end of the 1860s. Given the remit of collection policy at the time, it was undoubtedly acquired as an example of English mid-sixteenth-century design in the classical style. Its original function and purpose were never properly investigated.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Art History
Depositing User: Maurice Howard
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:07
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2012 10:46
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29624
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