The Hever Rose Portrait is not the only painting of Anne Boleyn, based on the B Pattern, in the collection of her childhood home at Hever Castle. Though undoubtedly, the Hever Rose Portrait is one of the castles prize possessions, a further two later copies are stored in the castles collection and both portrait’s feature strongly in the 2023 exhibition ‘Catherine and Anne, Queens, Rivals & Mothers.’ Organised by castle curator’s Alison Palmer, Owen Emmerson, and Kate McCaffrey. This beautifully produced exhibition explores the complex connections between Catherine and Anne. It brings together for the first time in five hundred years two Books of Hours belonging to both these remarkable Queens of England and includes some never-before-seen portraits from private collections of Catherine of Aragon.
When it comes to contemporary descriptions of Anne Boleyn, recorded during her lifetime or in the few months after her death, we have very little. What we do have provides a mixture of opinions, and some do appear to be embellished with a personal hatred towards Anne, due to the controversy that surrounded her relationship with the king. One thing is for sure, Anne stood out among the people who were able to witness what she looked like for themselves. Her general persona appears to have caused debate even when she was alive, and this debate would continue for centuries after her death. The French scholar and poet Lancelot de Carles described her as
‘Beautiful with and elegant figure…. She became so graceful that you would never have taken her for an Englishwoman, but for a Frenchwoman born’. 
Carles would go on to note that Anne’s most attractive feature was:
‘her eyes, which she well knew how to use. In truth such was their power that many a man paid his allegiance’.
In 1528, she was also described as ‘very beautiful’ by a Venetian diplomat, however, when described in 1532, by Francesco Sanuto, he appears less certain about Anne’s beauty. Sanuto was again observed to be captivated by Anne’s eyes.
‘Madam Anne is not one of the handsomest women in the world; she is of middling stature, swarthy complexion, long neck, wide mouth, bosom not much raised, and in fact has nothing but the English King’s great appetite, and her eyes, which are black and beautiful, and take great effect on those who served the Queen when she was on the throne’.
What is interesting, about some of the above features detailed by her contemporaries, is that some of these features are seen within the B Pattern of Anne Boleyn. When comparing both the contemporary descriptions and some of the earlier portraits based on the B Pattern to the Mould and Zouche portraits. Both paintings demonstrate how the sands of time have manipulated the everchanging image of Anne, and how her features would be slightly altered or airbrushed to suit the perception of beauty during the period in which the later copies were created.
Both the Mould and Zouche paintings are, in fact, relatively modern acquisitions within the castles collection and little information concerning their provenance are currently stored in the archive at Hever Castle today. As both portraits are held within a significant collection relating to Anne Boleyn, then what little is currently known about the history of these two paintings deserves to be documented.
The first, and certainly the earliest portrait is what I refer to as the Mould Copy. This painting was acquired by the castle from the London Art Specialist, Philip Mould, prior to 2012, and it has continually been on exhibition since its purchase. The Mould copy is most certainly derived from one of the earlier paintings based on the B Pattern. As the slight curvature is seen at the neckline of the bodice, and the lips and nose have been altered slightly to that seen in NPG668. It would be tempting to say that the Mould Copy was based on a painting similar to the portrait of Anne Boleyn seen in the Royal Collection. Anne has been slightly cropped in the Mould version the painting stops just below the neckline of her sumptuous gown. Her trademark pearls and B pendant can clearly be seen around her neck. Anne’s features have been somewhat enhanced to achieve the raven-coloured hair and large dark expressive eyes she would undoubtedly become famous for.
The portrait is in excellent condition for its age, some slight craquelure to the paint surface is seen on close inspection, however, there does appear to be no evidence of paint loss. At first glance, Anne appears to be missing the black veil attached to the back of the French Hood. On viewing the portrait in person, it does appear to have been part of the original composition. However, the veil appears to have been painted out at a later period and some evidence of a slight touch up to the bottom and outer portion of the pearl billiment is also visible. No artist inscription or name was located on the painted surface.
Executed with the use of oil paint on a sheet of circular copper, the portrait has a name plate applied to the frame with an estimated date for its creation of ‘circa sixteenth century’. The use of copper as a surface to paint on, appears to have originated in Florence towards the end of the sixteenth century, however, surviving examples from this period are rare. This method of painting eventually spread to Rome, Antwerp, and other countries during the seventeenth century and was often used by artists for small paintings, as the smooth surface would provide an ideal support to create detailed images.
Stylistically, the use of the blue pigment seen in the Mould Copy to achieve that porcelain skin affect when modelling the flesh, the handling of the eyes, nose and mouth are more consistent with the hand of a seventeenth century artist, when the use of copper as a support for portraiture was at its height. Copper began to wean off during the second half of the seventeenth century and by the beginning of the eighteenth century it would become almost obsolete when the use of canvas would again become the most popular support for a painting surface.
When it comes to the documented provenance of the Mould portrait, we unfortunately have very little in terms of information prior to its modern purchase. The painting doesn’t appear to have been included in any of the major nineteenth century exhibitions relating to Tudor portraiture. We do have many auction records concerning portraits of Anne Boleyn sold over the course of four centuries, however, no direct record for this particular portrait has yet, been located. Unfortunaly the back of the copper plate also provides no other details, other than the modern Philip Mould inventory sticker.
A search of the Getty Provenance Database has identified two tantalizing auction entries from the early nineteenth century that could possibly identify two of the previous owners of this painting. The first reference is a portrait described as being that of ‘Anne Boleyn on Copper’ which sold from the collection of a John Dent by Christie’s, London on 6th February 1802. The second, is another portrait described again as representing ‘Anne Bullen on Copper’ which sold some fourteen years later from the collection of a Reverend James Cradocke. Due to the poor content of these early auction entries and the constant demand for Anne’s likeness, no direct match has been made to truly confirm that either one of the references is, in fact, related to the Mould Copy or the B pattern. Until further information is obtained, then we cannot truly list either names as previous owners.
During a recent trip to London, I was able to locate one positive reference about the Mould Portrait made towards the end of the nineteenth century. George Scharf, then Director of the National Portrait Gallery London, viewed many significant Tudor related portraits during his career. Scharf was noted to have an active interest in sixteenth century portraiture and would often seek out paintings to feed his own interests in the subject or as a possible purchase for the galleries collection. Unfortunately, Anne Boleyn does not appear to be at the top of his list when attempting to locate images, however, he does illustrate a small number of portraits that caught his eye in his many sketchbooks.
The Mould Copy portrait was viewed by George Scharf on 19th July 1872. During this viewing he took notes regarding his observations and made a drawing of the portrait in one of the sketchbooks stored in the galleries archive today. Unfortunately, the notes given provide us with little information other than the size of the painting, materials used, and the fact that Scharf had a poor opinion of the portrait noting it to be a ‘a very poor fabrication ignorantly done from the Windsor Picture.’ Scharf does make one rather puzzling note along the far left-hand side of his drawing and lists the rather curious name ‘J.K Sepia Boleyn’. This could possibly be the owner of the portrait in 1872, however, for the moment I have unfortunately been unable to locate and information regarding a J.K Sepia Boleyn or a J.K Sepia 
Unlike the Mould copy, the Zouche Portrait appears to have a rich history in terms of provenance and documentation. In this version, Anne is depicted to just above the waist, her famous dark hair has been lightened to an almost auburn colour, and her eyes have been enlarged. Anne’s features have been softened and appear younger in years to that seen in the earlier patterns, and the hint of rosy pink cheeks and red lips are also observed.
The French inscription applied to the top of the panel gives us a clue as to the origin of the painting and it’s first acknowledgement to its past is seen on a label attached to the back of the stretcher. Written in French the label informs its viewer that the portrait is a depiction of:
‘Portrait de Anne de Boulon, femme de Henry VIII roy(al) de l’angleterre……Da Chateau de Thorigny’.
Located in Yonne, France, the Chateau de Thorigny was built for Alexandre Jean Baptiste Lambert on the same land as an earlier family property between the years of 1719 and 1726. On his death in 1726, the chateau entered a spiral of sales were its valuable collection of books, furniture and architectural features were unfortunately sold off. A shell of a castle was finally acquired by a wealthy Italian family; however, it was eventually demolished in 1806.
By 1897, the portrait was in England in the collection of Robert Nathaniel Cecil George Curzon, 15th Baron Zouche of Perham Park. Curzon’s was an avid collector, traveller and writer who is known to have acquired a large collection of Biblical Manuscripts during his lifetime. Today, a large amount of his collection is stored in the British Library London. It may just be possible that Robert Curzon purchased the Zouche copy himself from one of the many sales taking place at the Chateau de Thorigny during one of his many excursions abroad.
The Zouche Copy first appeared, publicly, when it was exhibited in the 1897 ‘Royal House of Tudor Exhibition’. Situated in Manchester’s Art Gallery, the exhibition consisted of eight rooms containing thousands of Tudor related artifacts sourced from public and private collections across the country. Seen in room two was item 32 in the exhibition catalouge:
Queen Anne Boleyn (1507-1536) Small half-length, to the left: square cut, low dark dress; black hood, edged with pearls; pearl necklace with a letter B. Canvas 15 x 12 inches. Attributed to Janet.
The association with the sixteenth century artist Janet or Jean Clouet is an intriguing one. During the latter half of the nineteenth and early twentieth century many portraits were associated with the French artists Jean and Francois Clouet due to a significant amount of research being produced about both artists. However, access to information, archival material, and any scientific investigation in terms of dating, paint analysis or infrared reflectography was non-existent. Portraits were simply grouped together by style and associated with names of some of the more famous artists to work within the period the portrait was at that time thought to date to. It is safe to say that the Zouche Portraits has nothing in terms of the stylistic qualities seen in some of Clouet’s known works. The fact that the portrait is on canvas also indicates that it most certainly dates to a period after the sixteenth century and the attribution to ‘Janet’ in the exhibition catalouge was a simple mistake. Today, the portrait is thought to date to the eighteenth century and may just have been commissioned by Alexandre Lambert to hang in the newly built Chateau de Thorigny.
The Zouche Copy was passed by descent to other members of the Curzon’s family. It appeared in a further two public exhibitions in 1902 and 1909 and remained in the family’s collection when Parham House and the estate was sold off in 1922. The portrait eventually appeared up for auction on 29th October 1986, when it was incorrectly described as being ‘English School’. On completion of this sale the portrait then entered the collection at Hever Castle and remains part of the collection to this day.
 Weir, Alison. The Six Wives of Henry VIII, 2007, pp 151
Calendar of state papers, Venice: October 1532 | British History Online (british-history.ac.uk), accessed 12.02.23
 For more information on the history of the use of copper see: Komanecky. Michael K. Copper as Canvas: Two Centuries of Masterpiece Painting on Copper, 1575 – 1775, Oxford University Press, 1998.
 Getty Provenance Index & Getty Provenance Index accessed 10.02.2023
 The Heinz Archives, London. Trustees’ Sketchbook 18, 1871-1872, NPG7/1/3/1/2/18, pp.38
 I am extremely grateful to Owen Emmerson, Kate McCaffrey and Alison Palmer for allowing me to see photographic images of the reverse of both portraits.
 Miller. Etienne, The Lambert de Thorigny Family, Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of Sens, Volume: VI, (2008), pp. 102-185
 Sidney lee. Dictionary of National Biography, Smith, Elder & Co, London, (1900) Vol 63
 Royal House of Tudor Exhibition Catalouge, 1897, P.12, item:32