Anne of Denmark

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Anne of Denmark

by John De Critz the Elder
oil on canvas, circa 1606-1608
79 3/8 in. x 49 3/4 in. (2016 mm x 1265 mm)
Purchased, 2011
Primary Collection
NPG 6918

On display in Room 4 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery

Sitterback to top

  • Anne of Denmark (1574-1619), Queen of James I. Sitter associated with 49 portraits.

Artistback to top

Linked publicationsback to top

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  • Bolland, Charlotte, Tudor & Jacobean Portraits, 2018, p. 48 Read entry

    The daughter of Frederick II of Denmark, Anne married James VI of Scotland in 1589, aged only fifteen. They had seven children, but only Henry, Elizabeth and Charles lived beyond early childhood. Anne was raised as a Lutheran but during her time in Scotland she appears to have converted to Catholicism; this was accepted by the staunchly Protestant James but had to be kept private due to popular anti-Catholic feeling. Anne became one of the most important cultural patrons of her day, commissioning lavish court masques, buildings and paintings that allowed the careers of men such as Ben Jonson, Inigo Jones and Isaac Oliver to flourish. This portrait may have been commissioned as part of a group, including images of James and Prince Henry, which would have been sent to a European ruler. John de Critz the Elder received a payment for just such a group in 1606, which was to be sent to the Archduke of Austria. In its compositional format it shares similarities with contemporary portraits of Habsburg rulers and would have placed the new king and queen firmly within the visualcontext of the dynasties that ruled Europe.

  • MacLeod, Catharine (preface, appreciation) Wilks, Timothy (introduction) Smuts, Malcolm (appreciation) MacGibbon, Rab (appendix), The Lost Prince: The Life and Death of Henry Stuart, 2012 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 18 October 2012 to 13 January 2013), p. 51
  • Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 79

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1606back to top

Current affairs

The Lord Chief Justice Sir John Popham sentences Guy Fawkes to be hanged, drawn and quartered in the Old Palace Yard opposite Parliament.
Creation of a union flag of England and Scotland prompts complaints from Scottish shipowners that the St. George cross obscures the saltire of St. Andrew.

Art and science

The Stationers' Company Register, which allowed publishers to register their rights to produce printed works, notes a performance of William Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear, possibly the play's first appearance.
Benjamin Johnson comic masterpiece, Volpone, premiers at the Globe Theatre.


Three ships belonging to The London Company set sail from London, to establish colonial settlements in North America. Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, enlists Robert Hunt as chaplain for the expedition. Hunt probably conducted the first known holy communion service in North America.

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