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What do you think Anne really looked like?
August 26, 2009
6:51 pm
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Claire
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It's so weird that we don't really know what Anne looked like because none of her portraits are original, just copies of earlier works etc. So what do you think she looked like? What can we piece together from descriptions? What have you found in yoru reading? Or how do you imagine her in your head?

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

August 27, 2009
11:18 am
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Rochie
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A lovely compilation of images can be found here:

There is an interesting notion that at least one of the portraits of Anne is actually based on that of her daughter Elizabeth. Those with a facebook account can see a composite of two portraits (Anne and Elizabeth) here:

http://www.facebook.com/home.p…..1735768063

Holbein provides us with the most likely depiction of Anne. I still rather like to believe that this famous Holbein sketch is a true likeness:

http://www.britannica.com/EBch…..er-1534-35

The shrewd intelligence conveyed by the artist it this wonderful drawing fits perfectly the descriptions that we have of Anne as a person. It is also a face that, though not beautiful in a classical sense, is still very attractive. A strong personality is, of course, always 'sexy' in man or woman, and Anne probably had this asset in abundance. Whatever it was, it must have been something special to attract a king.

PS. the other Holbein sketch of Anne Boleyn (that actually has an inscription on it that says it is Anne) has been shown to be most likely not her at all – though it has made a bit of a comeback recently:

http://entertainment.timesonli…..511633.ece

The inscription was added later, and is not thought to be Holbein's words. It certainly is a very different face to the earlier Holbein and not at all what one would imagine AB as having looked like.

August 28, 2009
2:01 am
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gwenne
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I personally think that she was the opposite of what was considered attractive at the time.  Very slight, dark hair and eyes, swarthy skin probably very thin nose and sharp features.  But her looks belied the fiery personality that resided in the body.  This is one thing that everyone is absolutely sure of regardless of how she actually looked. 

Diem et animus scire cupio: I desire knowledge of the soul.

August 28, 2009
5:55 am
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Sabrina
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Everyone always said she wasn't the conventional english beauty. That she was a brunette, with olive skin and dark eyes. There is one portrait that I think looks like her, it's one of the Holbein portraits. 

 I know the hood is not totally her, but I think this one is the best representation of her..

Let not my enemies sit as my jury

August 28, 2009
8:31 am
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Claire
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I wonder what it was about her that gave her such sex appeal in a court that did not consider her a beauty.

The way she carried herself?

Her attitude?

Her Frenchness?

Her style?

Her self-confidence?

I love the Holbein sketch andthe portrait that LadytoAnneBoleyn has posted, they are quite similar, and she was not an English Rose.

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

September 9, 2009
11:56 pm
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ipaud
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I think the Portrait sketch at the British museum is the truest likeness ( was lucky enough to have a private audience with our Queen last March, as previously posted)

Still, as claire says, it is her way of being or presence that in knowing someone ties in with the image to give us a complete image.

I did find an interesting gallery on \”Photobucket\” heres the link

Tudors pictures by hvansant – Photobucket

If the link gives trouble, do a searxh for \”Ivansent\” on http://www.photobucket.com

its pretty comprehensive.

there is an image of another sketch here, the one by Holbein recently believed to be AB, it is remastered, don't care for it much, but as it is remastered and gives another view of how Anne looked.

Paudie.

If it was not this, then it would be something else?

September 10, 2009
1:26 am
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gwenne
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http://i30.photobucket.com/alb…..n-card.jpg

I think this one might be the most telling of all.  Ok, I study cards.  The playing cards that we see and know and understand also have their correllation within the tarot decks.  Portraying Anne as the Queen of Spades in a playing deck translates into the Queen of Swords in tarot studies.  The qualities of the Queen of Swords include but aren't limited to an a) strong feminine energy b) a quick and discerning wit and personality c) can make excellent judgement calls and understands the nature of people d) has compassion and kindness for others e) is quick to react to a situation and is equally quick to arrive at a solution.  f) is usually the 'go-to' person for advice, loans, and a kind ear.  g) also has a temper when aroused and a sharp wit and tongue to complement it.  (yea, I knew there was a reason I dug Anne Boleyn..hehe)

Diem et animus scire cupio: I desire knowledge of the soul.

September 10, 2009
7:50 pm
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Rochie
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Interesting, gwenne!

Also the element of FIRE?

September 10, 2009
10:33 pm
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ipaud
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Hi Gwennie,

Maybe thats the common thread that binds us here as well as our admiration for AB's life and achievements?

More interseting facts to help us get a picture of her in our minds eye.

Paudie.

If it was not this, then it would be something else?

September 11, 2009
2:04 am
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gwenne
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Rochie, Queen of Swords is integrated with the elements of fire (temper and action) and air (intellect ability to transform thought to action)..very perceptive on your part

ipaud- I think all of us here in the forum admire Anne and the qualities she represents to US.  Finding clues and pieces to the puzzle of who she was are so exciting to find!

Diem et animus scire cupio: I desire knowledge of the soul.

September 11, 2009
3:33 am
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Emma_pug
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Gwenne, that is fascinating!  Fits Anne to a T.

Her image is something that has always fascinated me, considering she is someone who I am so enamored of and to not know exactly what she looked like.  Perhaps this is why, if given the chance to spend give minutes with anyone, it would be Anne – just so I could see her.  Ives probably has it correct, with her appearance being a combination of several things like the NPG portrait, Elizabeth's ring, and the portrait medal.   

Even if it isn't considered legitimate, I love the Ludlow portrait (posted here awhile ago, lots of discussion on it).  There is just this SPARK to her in this portrait, it's exactly how I imagine her.

Something that sounds very bizarre – in the many dreams I've had of Anne, I see her quite clearly.  However, I can't quite remember her face when I am awake.  It's as if my sub-conscious is teasing me.  (No, I'm not on any illegal substances, I swear!)

Noli me tangere

November 9, 2009
3:56 am
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ProudtobeCatholic
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I picture Anne as a combination of the Hever Castle portrait, the John Hoskins mimiature, and the Holbein sketch.  The dark hair and dark skin in the Hever portrait, the face in the miniature, and the eyes in the sketch.  As I said in another thread, I wish I could go back in time with my camera and take a picture of Anne.

When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

December 21, 2009
10:05 pm
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emma
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I think that what was depicted as not a beauty in the 1500\’s would be today. Pale with blond hair blue eyes, was what every woman strived to look like – however, in 2009! we all now want olive skin and sexy dark eyes (with eyeshadow eyeliner etc) How times change! I wonder how she would have compaired to beauties we have in life now????

If I could have 5 minutes with anyone it would be Anne!

The Most Happi

December 23, 2009
2:23 pm
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Claire
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Very true, Emma, she was very different to what was seen as traditionally pretty and also had her own style. She was definitely a trend setter rather than a follower.

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

January 11, 2010
11:57 pm
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Bella44
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The only contemporary image of Anne was a portrait medal struck in 1534, though sadly its badly damaged.  It kinda looks like somebody punched her on the nose!  But theres something about the mouth, the set of the lips especially, that makes me think of the Holbein sketch.  They both have the long facial structure that Anne was reputed to have and are wearing almost the same costume (given that the Holbein print is a sketch and was clearly never finished.)  I know when we think of Anne its always as the French hood prototype but I don't think she would have been above wearing the gable style of hood especially if she wanted to emphasise her 'Englishness' and her right to be Queen (as opposed to Katherine of Aragon's very un-English connections.)  Anne was most definately a woman who well understood the power of image!

Also, if the Holbein sketch isn't Anne then why have I never come across any other ladies name in connection with it?  The whole thing makes me wonder…  Would it be wrong to tentatively suppose that the portrait medal may have been based on the Holbein image?!

January 12, 2010
1:08 pm
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Melissa
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I don't know about that portrait medal being based on the Holbein sketch, but there is definitely a resemblance that I think lends credence to the idea that it is Anne in Holbein's sketch.  I have heard that perhaps the lady in the sketch is one of the Sheldon sisters, Lady Lee, or Charles Brandon's wife Catherine, but there  are also sketches Holbein did of those women.  There is a Holbein sketch of Madge Sheldon, and she does not have the same nose as the sketch of \”Anne,\” however, the two women do bear a resemblance, which would make sense if it is Anne since they were both Howards.  Regarding Margaret Wyatt, Lady Lee, I have no idea how that sketch came to be associated with her because it looks nothing like Holbein's later painting of her.  And as far as Catherine Brandon, there is a resemblance between a sketch identified as being her and the one of Anne, but the eyes are a different color.  In fact, I think she really looks like the lady in that uglier Holbein sketch that is often said to be of Anne Boleyn.  

I don't have links to these pictures, sorry!  But Google the picture of Catherine Brandon and tell me that's not her in the sketch with the coif and double chin!

Ainsi sera, groigne qui groigne.

January 12, 2010
10:24 pm
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Bella44
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Hi Melissa!

Your ideas about the sitter of the Holbein sketch are really intriguing!  I've never come across any of those women being the lady in question before so you've given me a lot to think on!  I think you're right that it's probably not Margaret Wyatt, Holbeins portrait and the sketch bear so little resemblence to each other that its far more likely that they're totally different people.  Madge Sheldon is more of a possibility as she and Anne were related but I think, along with the nose, the eyes are too different (going by the other sketch which has been more or less identified as her.)  The lady in the mystery Holbein sketch has very beautiful dark eyes and I think Holbein thought so too as they really are the stand-out feature of the sitter (another reason why I think its Anne!)

As for the other 'uglier' Holbein sketch I never thought it could be Anne as I wouldn't think Anne would want to be portrayed in anything less than her absolute best so thought it could be a lady of lesser rank or maybe even a well regarded servant.  But now that you've pointed it out there is a definate resemblance to the Catherine Brandon sketch!  Though I would've thought she was of too higher rank as well to be portrayed in such a state of 'undress'.

Hmm, the mysteries go on!

February 20, 2010
9:56 am
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Susan B
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Claire, about your question what may gave her such sex appeal I can tell you that things such as confidence, intelligence, sense of humor, the way you move and talk, the way you glance to others, can be very attractive things, more than real exterior beauty. I may say that as a personal experience. I never was “the most pretty girl”, actually I always had a hooked nose, very dark hair and dark eyes – and most ppl around me here in portugal have brown light hair and honey eyes – , and ppl always use to say that I was too thin, and I use to hate it all. So i may passed to other ppl that. But when I did 18 years I became much confident about myself so I saw myself surrounded, suddenly, by a good number of ppl who started to call me “very pretty and charming, indeed”.

So that´s why I don´t get surprised for Anne´s success, even more because she was very intelligent and decided, 2 attributes that probably few women had at that time.

I can´t imagine Anne as a no pretty girl, I think she was just different from the English concepts of beauty at those times (as someone had already said in this topic). I do believe she had a brown dark hair, with dark eyes probably. But I do not see her exactly as a person with some olive Italian skin, maybe just a little more tanned compared with the English pale skin.

I like very much this portrait of hers, with the rose: http://z.about.com/d/historyme…..boleyn.jpg

A rose is wild, a rose is free, and who would know better than me?

February 24, 2010
7:55 am
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AnnesAdmire1024
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I believe it was her dark hair and eyes that stood her apart from that standard of blue eyes blond hair that attracted King Henry. I believe Anne was beautiful of her time It was her charm ,style and ways of carrying herself that made her so beautiful in the eyes of people at court.She was different then so many others in her ways of thinking dressing and reformation. I think the people of court (some not all) liked her and thought of her as a breath of fresh air who would bring about a good change. i believe those who did not like her are the ones who denounced her beauty and made her seem ugly and disfigured much how we do now. If your husband looks at another woman and you catch him doing it even if she is indeed beautiful you would make a comment that she is not attractive and put her down (so to speak) because its offensive to you and you feel that she is a threat to everything you hold dear to you. Just like Anne I believe she was beautiful but because she threatened alot of things that people in the court held dear to them they made her out to be ugly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder If you in your own mind feel she is beautiful then she is but there are other who in their eyes feel she is not. Its hard to say what she actually looked like because there is so little known or documented about her appearance and most of the documentation is from people who did not like Anne

Anne's Admirer

March 4, 2010
1:30 pm
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Sharon
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Susan B., I can relate to everything you said.  I have black hair, dark brown eyes, andolive skin. (being of Italian descent.)  I have always been thin.  My Aunt always used to say “give her to me for a weekend, I'll fatten her up.”  When she would see me she would shove food in my face and say”Monja, Monja.” (eat, eat)  My other Aunt used  say “people are gonna call you toothpick.”  That never did happen.  I grew up and it was a completely different story. 

I think Anne was beautiful.  As I said in a previous post, beauty at that time in England was measured as blonde, blue-eyed, and pale skin.   She would have turned heads because her looks were so different.  It's not always looks that draw attention.  It's the way one carries onself.  I'm sure she had a dignity about her that enthralled people.   She knew how to make an entrance into a room that would have captured every eye in the place. 

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