The Courtship of Anne Boleyn

Media - 1980.28 - SAAM-1980.28_1 - 5895
Copied Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, The Courtship of Anne Boleyn, 1846, oil on canvas, 28 1240 18 in. (72.4101.8 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1980.28
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Artwork Details

The Courtship of Anne Boleyn
28 1240 18 in. (72.4101.8 cm)
lower right in oil: E. Leutze, 1846 back upper right in oil: "The Courtship of Anne Boleyn"/or/"The Cardinal's Ball"/emanuel Leutzé, pinxit 1846/Exhibited (underlined) New York 1846/U.S. Sanctuary Fair New York 1864/Owners (underlined) David Leavitt 1846/Sheldon Leavitt 1866/Edward Leavitt 1878/fisher Howe, Jun. 1887
Credit Line
Museum purchase
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Group
  • Figure group
  • Recreation — courting
  • Occupation — other — aristocrat
  • Architecture Interior — castle
  • Portrait female — Boleyn, Anne — full length
  • Portrait male — Henry VIII, King — full length
Object Number

Artwork Description

This painting shows King Henry VIII of England and his mistress, Anne Boleyn. Henry fell in love with Anne, Queen Catherine’s lady-in-waiting, and divorced his Spanish wife so that he could marry her. To the left of Henry and Anne, the ambassador from Spain expresses his disgust as he watches the king carry out his affair in public. Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze was a supporter of the American and German revolutions and may have painted King Henry’s infamous betrayal to show his distaste for royalty.