Monday, February 10, 2014

The Face of Anne Boleyn

Here is a waxwork of Anne Boleyn made by artist Emily Pooley based upon surviving portraits and contemporary descriptions of Henry VIII's second wife. On the Tudor Trail has an interview with the artist, as follows:
As with any sculpture or piece of artwork, you have to know your subject and even more importantly – understand it. This meant months of research before any clay was even touched! I focused on Anne’s story and how she has been represented throughout the centuries, from historical accounts of her appearance and personality (notoriously difficult in Anne’s case) to modern day depictions of her through films like ‘Anne of the Thousand Days’ and ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ and other artworks based on her image from Madame Tussauds’ waxwork to Royal Doulton’s toby jug. After attacking my 5000 word dissertation on this subject – writing has always been my nemesis – I settled on Holbein’s sketch of Anne as it has always been my favourite, and is by far the mostly realistic reproduction, in terms of skill, of her image from around the time.

The next stage is to choose a model as, of course, I could not simply ask Anne to supply me with her measurements – séance’s are scary business! Luckily, my friend at university looked remarkably similar to Holbein’s sketch. Numerous photographs were taken from 360 degrees around the model and hundreds of measurements recorded using calipers, so that the sculpt can be as accurate as possible.

And finally, the real work can begin. An armature is welded together to support the sculpt and the figure is slowly built up over a few weeks using clay– referring to the images taken and scrupulously following the measurements taken from the model. (Read more.)

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