Opinions differ as to whether Branwell's 'Pillar Portrait' was
painted before or after his (mostly destroyed) 'Gun-Group' and so the ages given on
this page are only estimates. The tracing shown was either used by Branwell to compose the
'Gun-Group' portrait or traced from the painting at a later date.
Anne in Branwell's Pillar Portrait at the NPG.
Left: Undisputed portrait of Anne Bronte in the 'Pillar
Portrait' c1834, aged about 14. The original has been reversed for comparison with the photo.The
portrait was painted by her brother Branwell then aged about 17 years-old.
Right: if this is Anne, and the photo was taken in 1848, she would be
about 28 years old.
The Profile Portrait at the NPG, the only remaining portion of Branwell's
Her identity has been debated since 1914.
She is almost certainly Anne (see Profile Portrait - Emily or Anne) and
Above: The 'Profile Portrait' c1835 alongside the tracing;
Anne would be about 15 years old.
Below: 'Anne' in the photograph - if this is Anne & the photo was taken
in 1848 she would be 28 years old.
Left: A (reversed) portrait of Anne, aged about 14 years, drawn
by her sister, Charlotte c1833.
Right: 'Anne' in the photograph.
Comparing 'Anne' and the Rev Patrick Bronte.
The Rev Patrick Bronte (father of the Bronte Sisters) compared with 'Anne' in the photo.
Some descriptions of
"Her hair was a very pretty light brown, and fell on her neck in
graceful curls. She had lovely violet-blue eyes, fine pencilled eyebrows and a clear almost
"[Emily] and gentle Anne were to be seen
twined together as united statues of power and humility. They were to be seen with their
arms lacing each other in their younger days whenever their occupations permitted their
Anne by Charlotte's friend, Ellen Nussey.
"A gentle, quiet, rather subdued
person, by no means pretty, yet of a pleasing appearance.....Her manner was
curiously expressive of a wish for protection and encouragement, a kind of constant
appeal which invited sympathy."
Description of Anne by the publisher
"Emily and Anne were like twins — inseparable companions, and in the
very closest sympathy, which never had any
interruption... but Anne was quite different in appearance from the
This last remark by Ellen
Nussey could be taken to mean that Anne's appearance resembled the paternal Bronte
side but her sisters' resembled the maternal Branwell side. There are photographs of the
sisters' distant cousins, on the Branwell side of the family, on the Penlee House Museum
Website - just type "branwell" in the
1. Description of Anne by
Clement Shorter (ed.), The Brontes: Life and Letters, 2 vols. (London, 1908), Volume 1,