Henry VIII’s Painter Hid Symbols In His Art, And One May Identify The King’s Fourth Wife

Franny Moyle isn’t just a casual art lover. She’s an expert, so she’s able to spot features that most people miss. And Moyle was astonished after examining one work by Henry VIII’s personal portrait painter. Apparently, the artist had left a secret message...

The master painter

The guy responsible? You may have heard of him: a certain Hans Holbein. He’s widely considered to be one of history’s most accomplished portraitists. Henry VIII noticed that talent, too, and so he hired the German to be his court painter.

The centuries-old secret

Holbein was obviously tasked with painting a portrait of the king himself. But aside from that, he was also asked to work on portraits of people close to the king. And it was one of these pieces – from 1540 – that captured Moyle’s professional attention centuries later.

Everything told a story

Moyle is aware of Holbein’s unique techniques, so she knows that his work often says more than you’d see at a glance. In other words, his paintings sometimes contain hidden messages or signs. Everything he created was meticulous, and no detail was incidental. Yep, it all mattered and told a story.

A stunning finding

With that in mind, Moyle couldn’t help but notice something about Holbein’s work from 1540. On the surface, the portrait depicts one of Henry’s wives, but the expert got the impression that there was more to the piece. So, she started to investigate. And what she found totally defies traditional wisdom.