|from 'Faith: A History of Christianity' (page 402)|
The picture is inscribed 'Anna de Boulen' in the left corner, and shows a young woman in profile from the 16th century. Is this the elusive lost life-portrait of Anne we have long been searching for? Unfortunately, no source was given by the author as to where this portrait was reproduced from.
As hopeful as we are for an authentic portrait of Anne Boleyn, there are indications to the contrary upon first glance. While the young woman's appearance - her long face and her brown hair - appear to match what we know of Anne, her costume is problematic. The sitter wears a hood of a style belonging to the early 1500's. It is comparable to one worn by Anne of Brittany, Queen of France (1477-1514).
Of course Anne could have been painted at a young age nonetheless, however a thorough search for this portrait indicated otherwise. The sitter is in fact Isabella of Austria (1501-1526), a sister of the Emperor Charles V. The portrait hangs in the Czartoryskich Museum in Krakow, Poland, and was painted in about 1514/1515.
|Isabella of Austria by an Unknown Artist|
The painting in its current state, as shown on the Czartoryskich Museum's web site, does not include the inscription 'Anna de Boulen'. The picture appears to be the same as the one reproduced in the Moynahan book, and it can only be supposed that the inscription, deemed a later addition and an inaccurate one at that, was subsequently removed by the Czartoryskich Museum.
And thus our search for Anne Boleyn continues...