Wednesday 3 April 2013

A Recreation of Anne Boleyn's Portrait Medal

Despite her being Henry VIII's most famous wife, there is still some mystery as to what Anne Boleyn actually looked like. The various representations of Anne are still debated by art historians, with one championing this, and the other that.

What they can agree on is that the only surviving likeness we have from Anne Boleyn’s lifetime is a lead portrait medal made in 1534. Unfortunately, it has suffered damage to the face, but the overall impression is of a woman with a regal bearing, having a long face and high cheekbones (arguably corresponding to the famous image of Anne wearing a ‘B’ pendant necklace).

Anne Boleyn's Portrait Medal (The British Museum)

The damage to the medal was no obstacle to English stone carver Lucy Churchill making a recreation of it. I encourage everyone to visit her web site, and to read her blog about how she did it. And do get one for yourself. It’s a remarkable piece of craftsmanship. Bravo Lucy!
Anne Boleyn's Portrait Medal (made by Lucy Churchill)

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