Henry King, though once widely read, is hardly a household name today. Living through the tumultuous times of the English Civil War, the Cromwellian Commonwealth and the Restoration of the Stuart dynasty, King endured deep personal tragedy while witnessing dramatic public events. Following his father into an ecclesiastical career, King received the bishopric of Chichester in 1642. His first wife, Anne, died years earlier in 1624, leaving the mournful King to raise their five children.
Holbein’s tiny portrait projects us into a private moment in the life of an ordinary middle-class woman living in the reign of Henry VIII.