ANNE BOLEYN (BULLEN): the FACE of Edward de Vere?

   Despite much research into the question of what Anne Boleyn looked like, there is, to date, no certainty as to which of the many portraits of her is considered to be an authentic likeness.  No big surprise.  Even in an age of photography, when an image taken at some point in time of a person can be demonstrated or proved to be an authentic image of the face of a person, the image (s) taken in different circumstances and time periods more often than not  can “seem” to be pictures of an entirely different individual. Today, facial recognition software uses multi-dimensional correlations of specific features to arrive at a definitive identification between or amongst more than one video source (digital or other video sources such as celluloid images produced by 35 mm cameras or slides).

   Generally speaking, facial recognition algorithms make such “certain” or “near-certain” face recogntions by analyzing relative:  facial and cranial shapes; positions of eyes, noses and cheekbones; jaw shapes and positions, to demonstrate how two or more images of a person are the same, and therefore can be said with certainty that one or more pictures are in fact images of the same individual. As a character, Anne Boleyn is understandably in only one of Shakespeare’s plays:  Henry the Eighth (First Folio, 1623).  She is given eighteen discrete ‘speeches’, three in Act I and fifteen in Act II.  I was not able to find any letter-strings in Anne’s lines, but did find the following remarkable one in Act III, Scene II that does give a written picture ( as a cluster) of a statement unmistakeably identifying Edward de Vere as having a strong resemblance to Anne Boleyn.  If one considers Edward de Vere as the illigitimate son of Elizabeth I, then a likeness to Anne Boleyn is not surprising as he would be the grandson of Anne Boleyn. This letter-string and cluster is the only one I have found to date that implies what Edward de Vere may have looked like.  We know artists (most notably Leonardo da Vinci and Michelange) made meticulous measurements of faces and other objects so as to give a realistic and accurate, near photographic likenesse, of what or who was being painted: Henry 8, Ed VERE, ANNE BULLEN'S visageFig. 1

The cluster appears to have been written by someone other than Vere (John Fletcher, perhaps), as the sentence is presented in the third person:

Ed. Vere.  He’s Anne Bullen‘s visage (likeness).”


V. IX. MMXIV        



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