#portraittuesday – The Hever Castle Rose portrait of Anne Boleyn

Apr18,2023 #Anne Boleyn

Hever Rose Portrait of Anne BoleynMy very favourite portrait of Anne Boleyn is the Hever Rose portrait of her, a beautiful painting which you will find on display in Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, Hever Castle. I’ve even had a copy done in oil of this portrait, that’s how much I love it!

The portrait is similar to the National Portrait Gallery portrait of her in that she is depicted in very similar dress and with her famous B necklace. However, in the Hever Castle version, Anne Boleyn is holding a red rose in her right hand.

At present, the portrait, which is thought to be by an unknown English artist, is dated to c.1550, although it is not known where that date actually came from. Unfortunately, the portrait hasn’t yet undergone dendrochronological analysis to help date it, although it has been beautifully restored to remove overpaint.

You can find out more about the Hever Rose portrait of Anne Boleyn in this talk by Dr Owen Emmerson, Hever Castle Historian and assistant curator:

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One thought on “#portraittuesday – The Hever Castle Rose portrait of Anne Boleyn”
  1. I to love this portrait and I agree about the information on the black gown she was wearing, it was very rare and costly to possess therefore only the extremely wealthy could afford to wear such a colour, also it was only worn by adults not children, and as we know black is very stylish, for decades emphasis is placed on ‘the little black dress’, all you need is some simple gold jewellery or a string of pearls and voila, you are Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, the pearls also what Anne loved are a perfect foil for the richness and colour of her gown, one can indeed see why Anne caught the eyes of the king, as Owen said, one can see her wafting around the court dressed all in black showing her lustrous hair of underneath the French hood, which Connor described as risqué, and the pearls shimmering in the candlelight, to the court she must have appeared very confidant very aware of herself, French ladies were probably more versed in the courtly love tradition than the English were, though it had been apparent for centuries, but Ann, fresh from the court of love must have enchanted many with her flirty French ways and lilting French accent, she was a peacock amongst the pigeons, we do not know how many portraits were painted during her time at court, I can see Henry V111 commissioning Holbein to have several of her painted, one as his mistress, when at the height of love for her, and just maybe a coronation portrait of her, others would have followed suit, but sadly these works of art were destroyed when that love turned to hate, thus we do not know how many portraits of this tragic queen there were, to destroy art is sacrilege but this king destroyed the monasteries as well, I also love the portrait said to be of her elder sister Mary, and this lady is pictured wearing the conventional English Gable hood, looking at this portrait I have tried in vain to find a likeness to Anne but there is none, her face is round and much softer, she does not possess the high sculpted cheekbones and her colouring is fairer than her infamous sister, but then sisters tend to take after their mother in looks or their father, if Anne resembled Thomas Boleyn more with his lean dark intelligent face, than we can assume Mary complemented their mother more with her Howard fairness, very good video of the history of the Hever rose portrait!

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