Collection Online
First meeting between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

First meeting between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

oil on canvas
156.1 × 120.9 cm
Place/s of Execution
Munich, Bavaria, Germany
inscribed in black paint l.l.: G. F. Folingsby
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with a Government grant, 1879
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International
Between 1846 and 1852, George Frederick Folingsby worked in North America, Asia Minor, Greece and Europe. He gained awards in the International Exhibitions at Vienna in 1873 and Philadelphia in 1876; and in 1879 was commissioned to produce First meeting between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. His subjects included English historical themes and figures in landscapes, which catered to his special talent for drapery and costumes. His reputation as a figure painter enabled him to make a living in Melbourne from portrait commissions and he was appointed Master in the School of Painting at the NGV 1882 and the first Director later that year.


Original, by F. Radspieler & Comp., Munich

The painting is one of the earliest paintings purchased as a commission by the Gallery. Folingsby was appointed head of the National Gallery School of Art and eventually became Director of the NGV, from 1882 to 1891. The frame came to the collection with the painting and is comparable in quality to the frame on Hermann Baisch‘s Dutch pastures, morning (p.313.5-1), made by Konrad Barth, another Munich framer. It is exceptional in the extensive use of large, complex cast-plaster ornamental lengths. The quality of gilding is enhanced by the fine surface of the plaster castings, which in turn are brittle and prone to damage.1


1 J. F. Radspieler was used by Arnold Böcklin to make the frame on The Muse of Anacreon, 1873 (Eva Mendgen et al, In Perfect Harmony, Van Gogh Museum, 1995, p.48).

F. Radspieler & Comp.
Hundskugel 7, München

The frame is made from cast plaster ornament on a wooden chassis. The corners are mitred and splined. The chassis is assembled from three wooden sections. The ornament is cast as deep sections with a relieved space, centre bottom, for the nameplate. Acanthus leaf decorates the outer edge, followed by an outer cavetto, a torus with scroll and leaf ornament, an inner cavetto, inner leaf-like ornament and sight-edge cavetto. The cavetto and the top and inner surfaces of the scrolls of the torus are burnished water gilded gold leaf over red-brown bole. The remainder of the ornament is oil gilded metal leaf.


Old losses in the ornament have been repaired. The outer ornament has been extensively over-painted with gold coloured paint.

190.5 x 154.0 x 9.5 cm; sight 154.0 x 117.5 cm