#PortraitTuesday – A drawing of a woman said to be Anne Boleyn by Hans Holbein the Younger

Posted By on August 8, 2023

Drawing of woman said to be Anne Boleyn by Hans Holbein the YoungerThis week’s #PortraitTuesday treat is another drawing from Hans Holbein the Younger, an artist who was at the royal court while Anne Boleyn was married to King Henry VIII.

This lovely sketch is in the collection of the British Museum, who describe it as:
“Portrait of a lady, formerly thought to be Anne Boleyn, head and shoulders of a woman turned to right and looking to right, wearing a head-dress, necklace and bodice with a square neckline.
Black chalk, partly stumped, and red chalk, with brush drawing in black ink, and with yellow wash; on pale pink prepared paper; corners cut diagonally.”

The sitter’s former identity as Anne Boleyn comes from an inscription on the drawing. It wasn’t inscribed by Holbein, the British Museum explains that it is “Inscribed in a seventeenth-century hand in brown ink, to the left of the sitter, “Anna Bullen de collata / Fuit Londini 19 May 1536””.

The drawing has inspired a number of portraits “after Holbein”, including this one, which I shared a few weeks ago, the Hever Castle Anne Boleyn portrait which usually hangs in the inner hall of the castle:

Anne Boleyn after Holbein, Hever Castle

You can read more about this Holbein Drawing on The British Museum website – https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1975-0621-22

1 thought on “#PortraitTuesday – A drawing of a woman said to be Anne Boleyn by Hans Holbein the Younger”

  1. Christine says:

    I do love this sketch, and I believe it is Anne for the sitter does closely resemble the authentic Holbein study of her that we saw a few days ago, the retrousse nose the narrow jawline, full lips and heavy lidded eyes beneath slightly arched, well defined brows, her forehead is not as high as shown in the NPG portrait or the Hever rose one, and in this she wears the English gable hood, you can see in the portrait shown underneath a likeness to this sketch and in this simple chalk and crayon drawing by Holbein and the other by him, I believe we have Anne’s true likeness, possibly the only we are ever likely to see.

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