#PortraitTuesday – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn by Arthur Hopkins

Oct10,2023

Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn by Arthur HopkinsThis week’s #PortraitTuesday treat is this portrait of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn by English artist Arthur Hopkins (1848-1930).

This oil on canvas painting depicts the couple in yellow, perhaps referring to the idea that Henry and Anne wore yellow after hearing news of the death of Catherine of Aragon in January 1536.

I discuss what the accounts say about the wearing of yellow, and who actually wore yellow that day, in my article “8 January 1536 – Joyful Yellow and Triumphant Parading” – click here to read that now.

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One thought on “#PortraitTuesday – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn by Arthur Hopkins”
  1. Henry delighted in his first queens death it seemed and the same can be said for his second, his grief for Jane Seymour, we can assume could have been due to the fact that she would never be able to give him another son, Catherine Howard’s death he was traumatised by as it was due to her betrayal, but with his first two queens he showed no grief at all, really I should imagine that black being a most morbid colour was traditionally worn by the grieving in most European countries, yellow because of its brightness surely was a representation of gaiety, and the sources tell us that Spain wore black and both white as a sign of mourning, why should Henry wish to appease Spain, as he declared the threat of war was lifted, Chapyus was disgusted by the joy the king displayed but politically he was at an advantage, although it sounds distasteful to us and he spared no thoughts towards his daughter Mary either, indeed Lady Shelton told her quite brutally that her mother had died and the poor girl must have been beside herself, Katherine was his first queen and she had been a good and loyal one, she had defended his country when he was in France, she was his first love but the years of loyalty meant nothing to him, and his feelings towards her for the last ten years had been one of dislike and rage that she had dared to defy him, the painting is charming and typically Victorian showing both the king and queen with cherub like faces, little Elizabeth was borne into the hall by a fanfare of trumpets and the wine must have flowed freely that day, that year should also have been triumphant for Anne her rival was dead, yet as the buds of May blossomed with the spring she also was to meet her maker in a most terrifying fashion, 1536 saw the death of two queens, I must add I like the painting of Henry and Anne out hunting very much as well.

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