National Portrait Gallery 

Themes for the classroom: European history; British History; culture during the Renaissance period; art history; political history; the Tudor Dynasty; the reign of Queen Elizabeth I; language and literacy arts; storytelling; art making; technology.

This augmented reality (AR) experience takes as its subject Sir Henry Unton, one of the most celebrated paintings in London’s National Portrait Gallery’s world-renowned Tudor collection. In this highly unusual painting, the life story of Sir Henry Unton, a soldier, member of Parliament and British Ambassador to France is revealed through nine unique scenes which surround a central portrait of this distinguished member of the Court of Queen Elizabeth I. Users can bring the portrait into their own environment, either placing it on a wall or easel, in their classroom, office or home. The app’s expansion mode allows for close-looking and exploration of each of the nine vignettes, while Charlotte Bolland, NPG’s 16th Century Collections Curator, shares background stories, highlights and details about the politics of the time, Unton’s own interpersonal relationships, and Tudor conventions. Elizabethan music contributes to a heightened sense of the period, as does the particular focus on a dramatic courtly pageant, known as a Masque.