Anne Boleyn Portrait at Risk

Posted By on January 4, 2011

If you remember, a few months ago, I reported that the National Portrait Gallery had taken its famous Anne Boleyn portrait off display so that it could be analysed as part of  the “Making Art in Tudor Britain” project. The analysis proved that the painting was from the late sixteenth century, so not long after Anne’s lifetime, but it also showed that the painting was in dire need of restoration.

The National Portrait Gallery says:-

“It is in a particularly vulnerable and unstable condition as a result of structural problems with the wooden panel. Vertical cracking has occurred across the picture causing minor paint loss where the wood has split (see the photograph taken in raking light). We need to act now as the damage is being caused by the long term effects of an unsuitable cradle (an applied wooden panel support) which must be removed. Therefore this important and much loved painting needs urgent conservation treatment to ensure it can be put back on public display.”

Raking light, on the image you see here, reveals what the NPG describe as “the perilous state of this panel painting”.

£4,000 is required for the NPG to carry out the much needed restoration work on this painting so that it can be put back on display and enjoyed by future generations. How awful it would be if the painting became damaged beyond repair! If this amount can be raised then work will start early this year.

How can you help? Well, you can go to, choose Queen Anne Boleyn from the drop down menu of paintings needing restoration, choose an amount you would like to donate and then click on “Make Donation Now” to be taken through the NPG payment processing. I realise that many people are strapped for cash at the moment, what with it being shortly after Christmas and with our present economic climate, but please help save this painting if you can.

Thank you.