Portraits of a Queen: Jane Seymour



Jane Seymour: Henry VIII’s Third Wife

Jane Seymour was the third wife of Henry VIII. Some have noted that she was his favorite, but only because she provided him with the long awaited son. She died shortly after giving birth to him in 1537. The Seymour family rose with titles and power along with their sweet Jane.

Jane Seymour was a descendant of King Edward III’s son Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence. Because of this, she and Henry VIII were fifth cousins.

Jane was likely educated by her mother. She was trained in needlework, household management and cookery. She could read and write her name. She also enjoyed outdoor sport including horseback riding and following the hunt.

Sometime during the 1520s Jane joined Katherine of Aragon’s household. It was while in Katherine’s household that she grew to know and love the Princess Mary…and Katherine herself. Jane so greatly admired the queen that she later modeled her own reign after her. – Jane Seymour’s Rise to the Throne

Here are some portraits we were able to find of Jane Seymour and we’ve tried our best to give appropriate credit to.


Holbein the Younger
Holbein the Younger


William Essex; RCIN 421710; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015


By Robert Cooper; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014


Artist: Unknown


By Francesco Bartolozzi; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014


by Wenceslaus Hollar, after Hans Holbein the Younger NPG D4061© National Portrait Gallery, London


by Anthony Cardon, published by John Chamberlaine, after Hans Holbein the Younger © National Portrait Gallery, London


Lodges British Portraits http://www.wikigallery.org/


Artist: Unknown


Artist: Unknown


Artist: Unknown


by Wencelaus Hollar


Artist: Unknown


Artist: possibly Holbein the Younger


Sketch by Holbein the Younger


Hans Holbein the Younger


Hans Holbein the Younger


kunthistorisches museum jane seymour


SOA235443 Jane Seymour (1508/9-1537) c.1536 (oil on panel) by English School, (16th century) oil on panel 41.5x36 Society of Antiquaries, London, UK English, out of copyright
English School; Society of Antiquaries, London, UK English, out of copyright


Artist: Unknown


Henry Bone; Signed and dated 1816 RCIN 422360 Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014


Posthumous portrait of Jane Seymour, 'Family of Henry VIII', 1545
Posthumous portrait of Jane Seymour, ‘Family of Henry VIII’, 1545

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History Jane Seymour Queens

8 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Why was each potrait so different? And how many portraits did she have? Maybe she was quiet because she spent all her time posing for potraits?

    • There are, as far as I know, only 5 portraits that were painted during Jane Seymour’s lifetime: 2 paintings by Holbein (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum and The Hague, Mauritshuis) plus a preparatory sketch for them (Royal Collection, Windsor Castle); a portrait miniature by Lucas Hornebolte (or Horenbout); and the portrait (English school) owned by the Society of Antiquaries. All other pictures are based on these. And as the centuries went by, Jane’s features were more and more softened … , that’s why most of the portraits are so different. Sorry to say, but the 5 likenesses mentioned above show the undisputed truth – she was by no means a beauty queen.

  2. My mother is a Howard great grandaughter as well as a Nevill. She is therefore related to every wife of Henry VIII. Mary Bolyne-Carrey is our 12th great grandmother and This wonderful woman: Jane Semour is our 2nd cousin married to Henry VIII. Their son Edward VI is our second cousin depending on which side from which you count. D. Charles Rice 1948 Nebraska Dudley/Tudors

  3. The pictures are all similar. I would go with Hol win as being the best representation. He was such a great artist that it is likely that he has captured her likeness better than most. Needless to say she doesn’t appear to be a looker by modern standards.

  4. The impression I always had was that she was a somewhat plain, quiet, mild – in short, Anti-Boleyn Matter. When I was young I thought she was horribly boring, but of course that’s how one got by with a guy like Henry. Ann of Cleves also survived by being boring.

    • I believe she was his favorite wife – he is buried next to her. She gave him the son he so desired, unlike his other wives. They really weren’t together long enough for him to start to dislike her. The question will always be, what if she had survived, would he have fallen out of love with her? I think Jane was the most like his mother EoY and that is what he most desired. A wife like his beloved mother.

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