In the recent BBC History magazine podcast, historian Brett Dolman discusses the current exhibition at Hampton Court on the women in Henry VIII’s life. At one point in the interview he mentioned that portraiture of Anne, including the famous image of her as a dark brunette, wearing French dress and the B pendant may have been based initially on a portrait of Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s sister. He mentions that a recent art historian has proposed this although unfortunately does not mention the name of the historian and the work in question. Has anyone else heard of this theory?
I understand that in regards to colouring the women were very dissimilar (I’m not an expert on Mary Tudor but what I have read relating to her implies that she was blond. Anne on the other hand is noted to have been a brunette in more than one source). However I remember an (inaccurate) portrait of Mary, alongside her second husband Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, which depicts her as a brunette and in French fashion. There is a certain resemblance between this image and the portraits of Anne although is there any actual evidence that somewhere along the line someone used this image of Mary to create a portrait of Anne and so the famous image of Anne has little authentic foundations to it?