Portraits of a Queen: Katherine of Aragon

Katherine of Aragon: 1st Wife of Henry VIII

Artist: Unknown
Artist: Unknown

Katherine of Aragon was named after her great-grandmother, Katherine of Lancaster – daughter of John of Gaunt and his second wife, Infanta Constance of Castile.

Henry VII also descended from John of Gaunt by his third wife, Katherine Swynford. John of Gaunt was son of King Edward III. Technically speaking, Katherine of Aragon had a stronger claim to the throne of England than her father in law, Henry VII

In 1509, Henry VIII married Katherine of Aragon, his brother Arthur’s widow. Less than two weeks later they were anointed and crowned together at Westminster Abbey.

Henry and Katherine had one surviving child…a daughter, Mary. Mary would go on to become Queen Mary I of England.

Here are some portraits we were able to find of Katherine of Aragon and we’ve tried our best to give appropriate credit on them.

Katherine of Aragon?
By Michel Sittow: Katherine is thought to be the sitter
by MIchel Sittow
By Michel Sittow
Katherine of Aragon, photo credit: National Trust
Hardwick Hall © National Trust
Artist: Unknown; circa 1520 – NPG L246 – By permission of the Archbishop of Canterbury
by Unknown artist, oil on panel, early 18th century; NPG 163
katherine of aragon 3
Attributed to British School, 16th century; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014
katherine of aragon
Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-77); Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015
English Sch Aragon corvus type l
English School c.1560; Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.
By Lucas Hornebolte, c.1525-26
Attributed to Lucas Horenbout; © National Portrait Gallery, London
NPG 4682
attributed to Lucas Horenbout ; NPG L244
Attributed to Lucas Horenbout ; NPG L244
by Richard Burchett (c) Palace of Westminster;
By Richard Burchett (c) Palace of Westminster;
By Cornelis Martinus Vermeulen; NPG D18834; © National Portrait Gallery, London
By John Goldar, after Hans Holbein the Younger; NPG D24174; ;© National Portrait Gallery, London
RCIN 600855; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

History Katherine of Aragon Queens

7 Comments Leave a comment

  1. The two naturalistic paintings (by Michael Sittow) are the most lovely, and you can imagine as a modern person that she really did look like that. The rest are later and wow, what a difference in style, I cannot really understand the lack of skill in them, overall, and the incapacity to capture her look. I know that post mortem portraits were often made to reflect the general mood, so as to color history, so perhaps they were made to show her in an unflattering way. And the second to last, again, lack of skill? If one were copying a Hans Holbein the younger, of anyone, they failed!~ The two Sittow paintings are reminiscent of Holbein, in the naturalism and careful attention to realistic proportions and light.

    • I agree 100%. That painting said to be similar to Holbein was not remotely like the delicate work of Holbein, and Sittow is definitely talented in the realistic style of Holbein.

  2. The next to the last portrait, although it is posted as Katherine of Aragon does not appear to be her. She had a prominent chin. This woman has a receding chin. Hmmmm

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