Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by Leeds Museums and Galleries | Temple Newsam

This resource explores some of the Tudor portraits that hang in Temple Newsam in Leeds. By looking closely at the paintings pupils can gain an insight into Tudor life and the values of this period.


Curriculum Links

  • KS2 Art & Design - evaluating and analysing creative works using the language of art, craft and design; understanding of the historical development of art forms
  • KS2/3 History - Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 (eg. 'fashion throughout History')

Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge of Tudor society through the ways in which people were depicted in portraits
  • Understanding of social change and that value systems in the past
  • Skills to interpret historical sources and images

Discussion Ideas

  • Why do you think people create portraits?
  • What clues can we pick up from the portraits that tell us something about the people in them?
  • How can you tell that the people in these portraits are important?
  • What sort of things can portraits hide?
  • How do Tudor clothes look different from modern clothes?
  • How are jewels and jewellery used in the portraits?
  • Which is your favourite portrait and why? 
  • Why do you think these portraits were made?
  • How do we make and use portraits today?
  • Are there any similarities between the Tudor portraits and the photos/portraits people put on social media today?

Activity Ideas

  • Art - Become a Tudor fashion designer:
    Use the images within this resource and conduct extra online research into Tudor fashions, then use the images you have found as inspiration to design your own Tudor outfits.

    Create clothing designs suitable for a rich person, and a poorer person. Make sure you include period features, such as ruffs, jewellery, and gloves. Alternatively, work in pairs and create your own 'Tudor portraits'.

    This task could be extended into creating an illustrated Tudor 'fashion magazine' as a class or group project. 
  • Make your own Tudor style ruff using the step-by-step instructions on the downloadable powerpoint.