The Five Faces of Anne Brontë
Anne Brontė  (c.1835)  -  Restored portrait     ANNE BRONTË
c. 1835

A rarely seen portrait of Anne: shown here is a restored version of a painting by her brother Patrick Branwell Brontë produced when Anne was aged about fifteen.

Along with the other aspects of restoration performed on this image, I have returned Anne's eyes to their natural blue colour. This pigment seems to have faded in the original painting. Many years after Anne's death, the Brontë sisters' life long friend, Ellen Nussey, described Anne as having 'lovely violet blue eyes'.

A much larger, higher quality version of this image is available - ANNEBRON.JPG (153K).

Anne Brontė - pencil sketch (1833)     'ANNE BRONTË'
by Charlotte Brontë.

Signed and dated by Charlotte - 'April 17th. 1833': Anne was thirteen when it was drawn. Many years later, this portrait was described as 'an excellent likeness of Anne Brontë' by two of Martha Brown's sisters. Martha Brown had worked for the Brontës as a servant for twenty-three years: her father was the Haworth sexton and he lived, with his family, just a little way down the lane from the Parsonage.

Anne Brontė - water colour 1 (c.1833)     ANNE BRONTË
by Charlotte Brontë  c. 1833

This portrait is not dated, but the style is similar to Charlotte's paintings of 1832/33 and is suspected of being from around that time - once again, when Anne was about thirteen. This particular portrait was owned by Ellen Nussey until her death in 1897.

by Charlotte Brontë

Signed and dated by Charlotte - 'June 17th. 1834', making Anne fourteen at the time of this painting.

Anne Brontė - water colour 2 (1834)

Anne Brontė - tracing (1834) Tracing of Anne Brontë

This tracing of Anne was produced from the 'Gun Group' portrait - an oil painting by Branwell, created in 1834, of his three sisters and himself . The only section of this portrait still surviving is that showing Emily (currently displayed in the National Portrait Gallery, London). Charlotte's husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls, destroyed the remainder of the picture believing the likenesses of the other three to be so poor. John Greenwood, the Haworth stationer who supplied the Brontës with their manuscript paper; produced, from the portrait, tracings of each of the three sisters. This must have been done sometime before 1861. At the bottom of this portrait he has written 'Anne Bronte, 14th year of her age'.

Sketch by Charlotte - Anne Brontė?  ANNE BRONTË ?

This is another sketch by Charlotte: Edward Chitham, one of Anne's biographers, believes it may be a fifth portrait of Anne - possibly as a young woman; though others suspect it was drawn around 1831 - when Anne would have been only eleven. When it was sold in 1886 it was described as being possibly 'the pencil drawing of the head and bust of her sister Anne'. It appeared in another sale in 1898 when it was described as 'Annie Brontë by C. Brontë'. Although the evidence is inconclusive, it does bear some resemblance to Anne and seems to conform with Charlotte's description in her letter of 20 January 1842 - 'Anne is so quiet, her look so downcast.'

  See also 'The Art of Anne Brontë' (from 'Main Page') for two possible self-portraits.

Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage
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