Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I

Nicholas Hilliard (England, circa 1547–1619), Queen Elizabeth I (1533–1603) (detail), 1576–1578. Oil on panel. Private collection.

The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England

The Legion of Honor is the sole West Coast venue for the first major exhibition of Tudor portraiture, textiles, sculpture, silver, jewelry, and manuscripts in the United States. The exhibition follows the development of the arts in England from Henry VII’s seizure of the throne in 1485 to the death of his granddaughter Elizabeth I in 1603. The Tudor period in England saw the end of medieval feudalism, the rise of absolute monarchy, the English Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the expansion of maritime trade. Art and luxury goods were used to legitimize the Tudor dynasty and reinforce shifting religious and foreign policies. Including iconic portraits of England’s most enduring monarchs and lavish works of art in a variety of media, the exhibition traces the evolution of courtly taste in Tudor England, culminating in the distinctly English Elizabethan style.

In the news

  • The Tudors are the historical pop stars of the English monarchy.

    Eleanor Heartney, ArtNet ,
  • A timely peek into the riotous lives of the OG royals: the Tudors, revealing that monarchy madness is not just a modern whim.

    Rachel Silva, Elle Decor ,
  • A focused, cool and refreshing study in the imagery of power.

    Dominic Green, The Wall Street Journal ,


This exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cleveland Museum of Art, in collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Lead Sponsor
Barbara A. Wolfe

Major Support
The Bernard Osher Foundation

Additional Support is provided by The Diana Dollar Knowles Fund and The Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Also on view