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Anne Boleyn – An historic icon reimagined

Anne Boleyn – An historic icon reimagined

This portrait is inspired by the iconic queen, Anne Boleyn.  After a lot of research, reading about the woman and studying the existing historic portraits, I began a piece which averaged the facial characteristics of these pieces and incorporated details in historic descriptions of Anne.  Unfortunately, all of the existing pieces apart from a distorted coin were painted posthumously so cannot be considered acurate, but there are similarities in the artworks.

Boleyn was second wife to King Henry VIII, and was executed for adultery – a month after Henry began seeing another woman, and on little evidence.  Descriptions of Anne paint her as not traditionally beautiful, but in her own way charismatic and graceful, with a long neck, long dark hair and beautiful dark eyes and lips.  Less flattering remarks suggest she had moles, a cyst on her neck, a protruding top tooth and the bump of an extra finger that she kept well hidden.  But it’s inferred she was the centre of attention, charismatic, and it’s hard not to imagine she was a woman unafraid to speak her mind – which may have lead to her demise.

I wanted to create a new portrait and modernise / humanise Anne.  The final is heavily stylised and graphic, yet I’ve worked to stay faithful to the dimensions and facial characteristics of the woman.

This piece is part of a larger project, the base being art for a premium quality card set titled Origins.


This print is now available at