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Painting of Henry VIII’s lost palace up for auction

A 1568 watercolour of Nonsuch Palace which fell into disrepair and disappeared in the 1690s is set to hit the auction block.

“Not only is it one of the earliest British watercolours and a work of art of immense beauty, but it is also the most exact pictorial record of Henry VIII’s great commission, Nonsuch Palace.

“Henry’s determination to build the grandest of palaces was fuelled by his rivalry with Francois I of France who was a great Renaissance patron of the arts and who built the palaces at Fontainebleu and Chambord.

“Nonsuch Palace stood for less than 150 years and there are only four contemporary depictions that are known to survive.

“Of these the watercolour to be offered at Christie’s is the earliest, and the only one to show a true impression of the lost palace.”

Nonsuch Palace was so named because no other palace could equal it.

Henry VIII flattening the parish church of Cuddington to make way for its construction, demonstrating his dominance as head of the Church of England.

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