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Re: MR: Was Richard maligned?

Poster: Stephanie Malone Thorson <smt2@st-andrews.ac.uk>

On Wed, 2 Oct 1996, Alfredo el Bufon wrote:

> > It is interesting
> > to note that some portraits of Richard which survive have been
> > over-painted (at some later date) to show a hunchback and other
> > deformities.
> This over-painting might be
> 1) The artist correcting the portrait after the subject was no
>    longer around to compel a false image, or
> 2) A part of a Tudor propaganda campaign, or
> 3) Simply giving the public what they beleived to be true.

As Lord Pedro points out, Kendall argues against the possibility that the
portraits were commissioned by Richard III and that he therefore could
compel an idealised image. My own observation of some of these overpainted
portraits suggests that the original artist had little or nothing to do
with it; the overpaintings are usually quickly and crudely executed, with
little regard for the more careful workmanship of the portraits - dare I 
call them smear jobs? :)
I think my original point - that a man with a spinal deformity and a
withered arm couldn't fight effectively in the style of late medieval
Europe, as Richard is known to have done - is still a valid one against
the theory that Richard was deformed. 

Scholarly consensus seems to be that the overpainting is due to your
second reason (and the second reason does lead into the third, after a
time).  Commissioning portraits of oneself (even if one happened to be the
king) was not common in England at the end of the fifteenth century, the
exception being funeral effigies. 

Stephanie M. Thorson			*  SCA: Lady Alianora Munro
University of St Andrews		*  
St Andrews, Scotland			*  Clan White Wing
email smt2@st-andrews.ac.uk		*  Tarkhan, Khanate Red Lion

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