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Zoomable Image of Portrait of a Young Lady, wearing an oyster silk dress with gold embroidery, c.1630

Portrait of a Young Lady, wearing an oyster silk dress with gold embroidery, c.1630

Anglo-Flemish School

Portrait of a Young Lady, wearing an oyster silk dress with gold embroidery, c.1630

Anglo-Flemish School

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Price:

Price on request

Materials:

Oil on panel

Dimensions:

27 x 20 ½ in (68.5 x 52 cm)

Provenance:

Anon. Auction, London, c.1960s, Lot 76, (as ‘Mary, Princess Royal (1631-1660)’ by ‘C. Johnson’) Lefévre Degels Antiquair, Kortrijk, Belgium; Private collection, Belgium

Technical Expertise:

Prof. Dr. Peter Klein, Dendrochronological Analysis Report, 16 January 2013

...the distinct continental handling and technique suggests that this portrait is by one of the numerous Flemish artists patronised by the English court and the aristocracy in the early seventeenth century...

This sensitive head and shoulders portrait of a young lady can be dated by the style of costume to c.1630[1], and although the subject is as yet unidentified, her fine clothing suggests she was from an affluent background.

The sitter is portrayed wearing a striking intricately embroidered satin dress with slashed figure-of-eight ‘virago’ sleeves which would have been tied at the elbow, as seen in Cornelius Johnson’s portrait of Margaret Halliday [English Heritage].[2] They were typically worn with an over gown and were fashionable in England and on the Continent between roughly 1620 and 1632. In this portrait, the subject also wears an elaborate lace collar with a string of pearls, symbolic of wealth and purity, and a single pearl suspended from the ear with a gold hoop and looped black lace. This combination of jewellery was particularly popular in England at this date, as attested in numerous portraits by court painter Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), and were often worn with low-cut bodices to subtly complement the skin tones.

This portrait was almost certainly painted in England c.1630, however its distinct continental handling and technique suggests that it is by one of the numerous Flemish artists then patronised by the English court and the aristocracy.



[1] This date is supported by dendrochronological analysis (tree-ring dating) of the panel on which the portrait is painted, which gives an earliest plausible creation date of 1619-1625. See Technical Expertise

[2] A. Ribeiro, Fashion and Fiction: Dress in Art and Literature in Stuart England, (London, 2005), p. 119

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