Age of Power
The story of Britain through its art and treasure.
This episode looks at the Tudors and spans from Henry VIII's accession in 1509 to the first performance of Shakespeare's Henry VIII exactly 100 years later.
David Dimbleby shows how the Tudors used art as an instrument of power and propaganda. Featuring a look at Henry VIII and the lavish, gilded tomb in Westminster Abbey he commissioned for his father; the epic Field of Cloth of Gold painting in Hampton Court made to celebrate his diplomatic triumph over the French; and the extraordinary patron-artist relationship he cultivated with Hans Holbein. Henry favoured blunt statements of power, but his daughter Elizabeth was more subtle.
Dimbleby's journey also takes in the Reformation, the wreck of the Mary Rose, John White's extraordinary watercolours of the New World, the mouthwatering Cheapside Hoard, the Spanish Armada, Henry VIII's armour and Drake's Drum.