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Iconology of a Cardinal: Was Wolsey Really so Large?

- May 3, 2018 in Art & Illustrations, cardinal wolsey, Culture & History, eating in tudor times, hans holbein, henry viii, iconography, Painting, power, thomas wolsey, tudor, weight

Characterised as manipulative, power-hungry, and even an alter rex, Henry VIII's right-hand man Cardinal Thomas Wolsey has been typically depicted with a body mass to rival his political weight. Katherine Harvey asks whether he was really the glutton of popular legend, and what such an image reveals about the link between the body, reputation, and power in Tudor England.