Sunday, February 09, 2020

Question from Daniel - Existing portraits from life of Tudors

Do any original portraits from life of Henry VIII, AB etc exist or are they all copy's of portraits. I don't believe these posthumous paintings portray the true appearance.

1 comment:

PhD Historian said...

I am reluctant to be the only person answering questions, but I also hate to see questions go unanswered ... so ... Yes, life portraits of Henry VIII are known, starting with those by Hans Holbein's own hand (including the cartoon at the NPG). But no life portrait of Anne Boleyn has ever been definitively confirmed as authentic. If by "etc" you mean Henry's other wives, there is a Holbein of Jane Seymour in a museum in Vienna, a portrait of Anne of Cleves by Holbein at the Louvre, and a portrait of Katherine Parr by Master John now hanging at the NPG. Numerous other life portraits of Parr survive. A Holbein miniature exists in the Royal Collection that is labeled "Perhaps Katherine Howard," but the identification is purely speculative. As for Henry's first wife, Katherine Of Aragon, the NPG holds one full-sized and two miniature portraits of her that are probably from life.