School of Art

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School of Art
Aberystwyth University
Buarth Mawr
SY23 1NG

Tel: +44 (0)1970 622460

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Oil Paintings / OP16

Miniature portrait of a woman

Artist/Maker: Anonymous,

Oil on circular oak panel, unframed

159 x 159 mm.
Bequest: George Powell 1882

This is an early portrait of an unknown sitter, probably a Dutch merchant’s wife. She wears a black gown with high puffed upper sleeves and a high-necked chemise which is worn open with the three pairs of ties that fasten it dangling free. She also wears a necklace and a typical Dutch bonnet with some intricate lacework. This costume is almost identical to that depicted in Anthonis Mor’s (1519-1579) portrait of his wife painted in 1554 in the collection of the Prado, Madrid. The inscription in the background is an annotated form of the Latin which translates as 'at the age of 24 in the year 1566'. The painting was originally considered to be a portrait of Mary Queen of Scots because she too was 24 in 1566. However, the costume and facial likeness does not correspond with authenticated portraits of the Scottish queen

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