Jane Seymour, Queen of England 1536-37

© National Portrait Gallery, London
Jane Seymour
after Hans Holbein the Younger | c. 1537
Oil on panel | 25 1/4 in. x 18 7/8 in.
NPG 7025

Jane Seymour was Henry VIII’s third wife, and the eldest daughter of Sir John Seymour, soldier and courtier.

Jane served as lady-in-waiting to both of Henry’s first two wives, and appears to have come into the king’s affections at the beginning of 1536.

Henry and Jane married shortly after Anne Boleyn’s death in May 1536.

Within the first year of their marriage, Jane fell pregnant. Tragically, Jane died 12 days after the difficult birth of her son Edward in October 1537.

Henry was devastated by Jane’s death. Writing to the King of France, Henry described that

“Divine Providence has mingled my joy with the bitterness of the death of her who brought me this happiness.”

This portrait of Jane Seymour is based on a work painted by Hans Holbein the Younger in 1536.

Jane is wearing a lovely red velvet gown with gold cloth sleeves. On her head is a gable headdress in the English style of the time.

This painting is unfinished. The flesh tones of Jane’s face and hands have been completed, but the rest of the portrait lacks the final details.

We can presume that the artist abandoned the work after Jane’s sudden death.

The details on Jane’s hands are complete, but those on her sleeves are unfinished

Explore the Tudor history we tell through this portrait:

Painting the royal court


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