Compare portraits created by Anne, with the one of herself
Anne - by Branwell
Anne - by Branwell  c.1835
Water-colour by Anne
Water-colour by Anne - c.1840/45
Pencil sketch by Anne
Pencil sketch by Anne - 1842

At first appearance, the likenesses do not seem too obvious, but compare the individual features: nose, lips, chin, jawline, forehead etc.

There are two distinct differences between the portrait of Anne and the 'water-colour': firstly, in the latter, the hair is much straighter, but it must be remembered that this 'water-colour' was produced many years after the former - she may have changed her hair style. Secondly, the outer edges of the eye-brows have a distinct downward slope - not evident in the other portraits of Anne.

The pencil sketch certainly gives the impression of the artist producing a self portrait - with her head poised to look down at the work being produced by her right hand, while her eyes are intently studying her own image in the mirror. This girl certainly has Anne's curly hair, and the eye-brows are a much closer match. Are these self portraits? What do you think?

My opinion: several of the other portraits of Anne indicate that she wore a more protuberant ringlet down the left-hand side of her face than the right-hand side: this seems evident in the pencil sketch portrait; and this feature, along with the points mentioned above, leads me to believe that this pencil sketch certainly is a self-portrait attempt. However, this being the case; it indicates that Anne still retained the curly hair of her youth, and as the girl in the water-colour (painted at around the same time) has straight hair, plus the eyebrow mismatch, suggests to me that this is probably not a portrait of Anne.

Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage
                 RETURN:       'A Very Bad Picture'

26  -  June  -  99   
Mick Armitage (e-mail)