Anne of Cleves, daughter of a German duke, was presented to King Henry following Jane Seymour’s death. Their marriage was purely a political alliance between Germany and England, as neither were attracted to each other. After spurning his initial attempt at courtship, Henry declared that she was ugly and displeasing to him. Their marriage was never consummated, and within seven months, Henry asked for an annulment.
Fortunately, Anne had a sweet and unassuming nature, and granted the king’s desire willingly. She was spared the fate of his other wives, and indeed, Henry rewarded her with a settlement which included several manor houses and a honorary place at court as “the King’s beloved sister.”
I chose to paint Anne as a tortoiseshell cat, because they have a peculiar kind of beauty.
“Anne of Cleves” is an acrylic painting from my series of cat portraits featuring the Wives of Henry VIII, part of the “Tudor Cats Collection”.
Archival prints of Anne of Cleves can be purchased in my shop, and from me personally at art shows.