Olive

This is Olive, a lovely little gal who is wearing the garb of Anne of Cleves, the fourth wife of Henry VIII. The original painting was done prior to the marriage in 1539 by Hans Holbein, who was sent by Henry to paint both Anne and her sister…. accurately, so he could decide which one to marry. Anne was described by the French ambassador, Charles de Marillac, as tall and slim, “of middling beauty, and of very assured and resolute countenance”. Centuries later, this turns out to be an often-selected reference portrait for dog owners commissioning portraits by me. What would Hans think. What would Henry think?

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