Mildred Cooke Cecil Pregnancy Portrayed in Elizabethan England
Mildred Cooke Cecil:
Pregnancy Portrayed in Elizabethan England
Free Online Public Lecture
3 June 2021
Karen Hearn FSA was previously curator of 16th & 17th Century British Art at Tate Britain.
Her lecture will focus on one of the most learned women of the 16th Century, Mildred Cooke, Lady Cecil (1526-89). Cooke's marriage to William Cecil, Lord Burghley - Elizabeth I's trusted chief minister - was a caring one.
In about 1563, Mildred was the subject of one of the earliest examples of English 'pregnancy portraiture'. Hearn will discuss this portrait of Mildred, painted as visibly with child, in its Elizabethan context and explore why her portrait looks the way it does.
Hearn is the curator of the major exhibition Portraying Pregnancy: From Holbein to Social Media, which ran 24 Jan 2020 - 23 Aug 2020. The exhibition explored representations of the pregnant female body in portraiture over a 500-year period.