Henry VIII vs 50 Cent

The winter light has been dropping off very quickly these last couple of weeks and on my last few visits to the Tower I have found it difficult to work in the available light past about 3pm. Luckily I have other duties as Photographer in Residence one of which is helping to run education projects with local schools. Last Thursday myself and Catherine Jones of the Tower Education Service spent a day working with children from Evelin Lowe Primary School. The project we are working on is based around portraiture and how we read pictures. We looked at and discussed some historic portraits, many of them characters from the Tower of London’s history as well as more recent photographic portraits. This was all done to lead up to another day with the children planning and making their own photographic portrait to represent them exactly as they want to be seen.

The children were great; well behaved, enthusiastic and creative. They also had an incredible knowledge of British History which put my own to shame. One of my favorite parts was comparing Holbein’s portrait of Henry VIII to a picture of the rapper 50 Cent – they are remarkably similar!

Warrior King meets Gangsta Rapper

Warrior King meets Gangsta Rapper

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One thought on “Henry VIII vs 50 Cent

  1. Very interesting! I used to teach sessions at Hampton Court called ‘Material Evidence’ that looked at clothing over the last 500 years. I used to show them a life-sized cut out of that very same Henry VIII portrait. When I asked them to describe what messages the King is trying to send out to the viewer, the most often heard comment among the pupils was that he was ‘showing off his bling’. It’s funny, working in heritage for so long you assume that these ideas are going to be difficult to get the kids’ heads around but they really aren’t.

    The links go further. 50 cent is often criticised for his unimaginative rhymes. Have you ever read Henry VIII’s poetry? Awful! If I have time I’m going to display them side by side…

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