1539 Anne of Cleves by Hans Holbein the Younger (Louvre)

Wife number four for Henry VIII, Anne of Cleves is shown wearing German dress. She was lucky enough to alienate Henry before marriage so he let her off easy - with her head. Henry sent Hans Holbein to Cleves to paint the Cleves girls, Anne and Amelia. This picture convinced Henry to marry her. They married and divorced in 1540. She became an English society hostess. Aparently, she didn't recognize Henry at first when they first met in person, dooming the relationship.

Her Wikipedia article is here.

Four! Do I hear five?!

Her dress appears to be anachronistic with the "earphones" headdress; she is wearing neither French nor English headdress. The sleeves have huge openings at their bottoms, like late medieval dresses, but with contemporary embroidered false sleeves beneath. The neckline is square, but the bottom curves down not up. Her gown has three necklines, one below the breast covered to the border of the second neckline with cloth of gold, the square second neckline, and a high round neckline at the throat connected to the second square neckline by a modesty piece adorned with rows of open work. Local variations in fashion were important.

Her dress appears to be of velvet or suede, but the trim could be cloth of gold and/or elaborately worked leather.

Keywords:  Anne of Cleves, Holbein, Henry VIII, Queen, German, jeweled headdress, square neckline, belt, high puffed sleeves, low flared sleeves, modesty piece, necklace, rings, cuffs, open-work


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