possibly Italian School, Portrait of a woman

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All Rights Reserved)


Country House
Mells Manor
Portrait of a woman
Medium and support
Oil on panel
Overall height: 99 cm, Overall width: 69 cm
possibly Italian School
Catalogue Number


This portrait can be dated by the costume to 1580–90 but, most unusually, the sitter is not wearing the ruff that would normally complete the dress. Her simplicity of dress, veil and the small paper that she holds may be intended to indicate devotion, although her quilted sleeves, beaded skirt and lace cuffs indicate a woman of some considerable wealth and status. The identity of the sitter is unknown and, given that, on stylistic grounds, the artist is possibly Italian, it appears not to be a portrait of a member of the Horner family. It has been suggested by Paul Joannides that the artist responsible is a painter close to, or at least influenced by, Ludovico Carracci.

by Amy Lim

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