Top banner image showing Wendy Holden to the right of text saying Welcome to the Wendsite. Multi-million selling author Wendy Holden
Photograph of Wendy standing beside a painting by Hans Holbein

The Queen’s Painter

I’m currently writing a historical novel with a completely fresh angle on the Tudor court. The Queen’s Painter will tell the story of superstar artist Hans Holbein and his relationship with his patron Anne Boleyn. It will shine a bright new light on the first and greatest royal image-maker and Henry VIII’s doomed wife.

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by Holbein’s paintings. They were more familiar to me than photos of my own family. When I first saw them in the flesh, in a Tate Britain exhibition of the early 2000s, I was overwhelmed to look right in the faces of people I felt I’d known all my life.

At Henry’s dangerous, febrile court, Hans was the all-seeing eye. He knew – and brilliantly painted - everyone who was anyone. Witnessing from close quarters Anne’s astonishing triumph and awful tragedy, he is the ultimate lens through which to view the famous drama. But he was much more than a mere passive spectator. The Queen’s Painter posits an entirely new theory - that Holbein used his art as vengeance. To bring down the cruel and unscrupulous whose scheming sent Anne to the scaffold.

Holbein’s role in shaping the image of some of our greatest historical figures is dramatic enough. But if you add to that his personal involvement with the key players and the idea he used his genius for the purpose of revenge you have the perfect mix of passion, retribution and everyone’s favourite period of history!

Read the Bookseller's story about The Queen’s Painter here.