Anna of Denmark
John de Critz the Elder or workshop of John de Critz the Elder (about 1550–1642)
About 1605, oil on panel
Anna’s childhood had been very different from James’s. At that time, Denmark was one of Europe’s wealthiest countries and there was little threat to her parents’ safety or rulership. She was raised with her siblings, first by their grandparents, then by their parents. She was astute and well-educated, and learned to appreciate art and architecture from an early age. She also had expensive taste. Pearls were one of her favourite jewels and she is shown wearing them in abundance in this portrait - in her hair, ears, around her neck and on the trim of her bodice. There are hundreds of references to both Scottish freshwater and oriental pearls in the queen’s wardrobe inventories.
Masquer Lord: A Star (costume design for The Lord’s Masque)
Inigo Jones (1573–1652)
About 1613, ink and watercolour heightened with gold and silver, now tarnished, on paper
In addition to paintings, clothing and jewellery Anna’s cultural sponsorship extended to the art of theatre, in particular the court masque. Masques were spectacles that combined dance, music and the spoken word, and were highly symbolic, conveying messages about dynasty, personal alliances and political developments. Normally held at New Year, for birthdays or weddings, Anna was involved in composing and performing in them. She frequently commissioned the architect and designer Inigo Jones to create stage sets and costumes. His vibrantly coloured drawings give us insight into the extravagant visual display that audiences would have seen. This drawing is a costume design for one of the performers in The Lords Masque (1613) which was staged as part of the celebrations marking James and Anna’s daughter Princess Elizabeth’s marriage to Frederick V, Elector Palatine.
Hear a contemporary recording of a short song, Woo Her and Win Her, featured in Thomas Campion’s Lord’s Masque (1613). Lute played by Eric Thomas, vocal David Gerrard (The University of Edinburgh).
The recording was created as part of a collaborative project funded by the University of Edinburgh. Recording and editing by Dr James Cook (The University of Edinburgh), in collaboration with the National Galleries of Scotland, Dr Catriona Murray (The University of Edinburgh), Dr Anna Groundwater (National Museums Scotland) and Jamie Reid-Baxter. Copyright Dr James Cook.