Why are we so fascinated to know what a woman who lived centuries ago truly looked like and why this particular woman? In the media, Anne Boleyn has been characterized in three different ways. She has been romanticized and sexualized, she has been portrayed as a cold-hearted witch, and she has been portrayed as a martyr/victim of a tyrannical king. This seems unfair to a real woman who actually lived and had many of the same stresses as we do.
She is so fascinating to us because we all want to know how she kept the rapt attention of Henry VIII for seven long years (without becoming his mistress) in order to achieve marriage and queenship. Henry was so enamored by this woman that the Imperial ambassador in England recorded that “The King cannot leave her for an hour.” Henry was risking excommunication and war for this one woman. Continue reading “Will the real Anne Boleyn please stand up?”
One of the most important sources of the events of 1066 is actually a piece of artwork. A beautiful embroidered tapestry, 70 meters long and 50 cm tall, depicts over fifty scenes of history. It is most commonly known as the Bayeux Tapestry and begins with the alleged oath of Harold to William and ends with the death of Harold in battle. Continue reading “The Significance of the Bayeux Tapestry”
Portraits and image have always been important for those of royal status in every part of the world, especially in European history. These portraits had to show their power, their status, and, in many cases, show that they are appointed by God/higher being. I used to study art history in university as well and portraiture was always the most interesting to me. I love to study people, their stories, and the legacy they wanted to leave behind. The way a person crafts their image in portraits is a way of creating their ideal legacy, even though it may not be the truest example. Since I was writing this on Outlander Sunday, I wanted to explore the portraiture of Charles Edward Stuart (aka Bonnie Prince Charlie) who I wrote a bit about in my Culloden post about two weeks ago (Inspired by Outlander: Culloden and its Aftermath ). Continue reading “A Study in Portrait: Charles Edward Stuart”