Portrait of Anne of Cleves: Hans Holbein the Younger

Hans Holbein the Younger: Portrait of Anne of Cleves

This is a Portrait of Anne of Cleves, later a Queen of England by the German painter and printmaker Hans Holbein the Younger.

Hans Holbein the Younger was hired by King Henry VIII to go to Düren in order to paint portraits of Anne and her sister Amalia. The king was searching for his fourth wife, and the sisters were both among those considered. Holbein was given the task of painting them both exactly as they appeared, without flattering them, so the King could accurately judge their beauty.

When Anne arrived for the wedding, Henry was very disappointed in her plain appearance and accused Holbein of misrepresenting her in his 1539 painting Portrait of Anne of Cleves, which significantly damaged his already stellar reputation as a portraitist. The work is done on parchment, which suggests that it was done during the journey and not upon his return to England.

Hans Holbein the Younger’s Portrait of Anne of Cleves can be found in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

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