Favorite decades: 1910's, 1800's, 1870's
Favorite artists: Anthony van Dyck, Giovanni Boldini, Henry Fuseli, Thomas Lawrence
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Lady Frances Sidney (1531–1589), Countess of Sussex, Foundress of Sidney Sussex College by Steven van der Meulen, ca 1565 England, Sidney Sussex College (University of Cambridge)
Lady Kytson by George Gower, 1573 England, Tate Britain
Elizabeth Cornwallis, Lady Kytson (c.1547-1628) married Sir Thomas Kytson (1541-1603), of Hengrave Hall in Suffolk in 1560. Of their three children, a son John died in infancy in 1562. Their elder daughter Margaret married Sir Charles Cavendish of Welbeck in 1582, but died in childbirth the same year. In 1583 their younger daughter - and sole heiress - married Thomas Darcy, later Earl Rivers, but separated from him in 1594.
In the present portrait, Lady Kytson wears the bright colours that had then just come into fashion, notably her red gown with its high-status fur collar. Her sleeves, beneath gauze oversleeves, are embroidered in black thread with roses, honeysuckle and carnations. She is probably dressed for outdoors, as she is wearing, rather than carrying, her gloves, as well as a tall, masculine hat with a jewelled band and linen undercap. The exact shape of this hat was only revealed when the painting was cleaned in 1995.
A payment in Kytson’s surviving accounts for 1573 indicates that this portrait, and its companion image of Sir Thomas Kytson (Tate N06090) were painted in London by George Gower (Cambridge University Library: Hengrave Papers 82 (3); cited in John Gage, The History and Antiquities of Hengrave, London 1822, p.40). The Kytsons had a town house in Coleman Street, in the City of London.
These are the earliest extant works by Gower and, together with his Self-portrait of 1579 (private collection; see Dynasties, cat. no. 57), form a nucleus upon which further attributions to him have been based.
Nothing is known of Gower’s training but he was descended from a Yorkshire gentry family. In 1581 he was appointed Serjeant Painter to Queen Elizabeth, the premier royal post for an artist, but one whose duties generally involved the control of applied and decorative painting for the monarch. In 1584 a patent was drafted that would have granted Gower the monopoly of all painted and engraved portraits of the Queen (while allowing another painter, Nicholas Hilliard, the monopoly of her portraits in miniature) but it is not clear whether this was ever enacted. Nevertheless, Gower seem to have been one of the most fashionable portraitists of the 1570s-1580s.
Jemima, 1st Countess of Sandwich (1625-1674) or Anne, 2nd Countess of Sandwich (1637-1671) by the studio of Peter Lely, early 1650’s or ca 1673-74 England, Mount Edgcumbe House
Very interesting sleeves.
This description is from here.
Jemima, 1st Countess of Sandwich, was the mother-in-law of Sir Richard Edgcumbe, from whose collection this painting has descended. The head of the sitter is recognisable from Samuel Cooper’s miniature. Its styling is also typical of portraits painted by Lely in the 1650s, a date consistent with her apparent age. The rest of the composition, however, has been copied from a later portrait of Mary of Modena painted about 1673. As a widow Jemima lived near her daughter at the Edgcumbe’s property Cotehele between 1672 and 1674, when she died. The family probably commissioned this portrait posthumously in her memory.
There has been some confusion in the past regarding the identity of the sitter (i.e. whether she is Jemima, the 1st Countess of Sandwich, or Anne (née Boyle), the 2nd Countess). The most striking likeness, however, is to Samuel Cooper’s bust miniature of Jemima, 1st Countess of Sandwich, engraved by Robert Dunkarton and published by Samuel Woodburn in mezzotint, 1813 (National Portrait Gallery, London). The sitter’s hairstyle is also more consistent with the fashions of Jemima’s youth in the 1640s and early 1650s. The head may have been copied from an original by Lely, now lost. The rest of the painting is a copy after Lely’s portrait of Mary of Modena, of about 1673/4 (Suffolk Collection, Kenwood). Recorded in the inventory of paintings at Mount Edgcumbe House (possibly compiled before 1941): (Saloon) ‘The Countess of Sandwich, wife of the 1st Earl. (Jemima, daughter of John, Lord Crewe) / Dress - brown, cut low, with a blue scarf. She is plucking an orange blossom with her right hand and holds another in her left hand. / Size 4’1/2§ x 3’3 1/2§. [Half-length] / Painted by Sir Peter Lely. Recorded in the 1961 inventory of paintings at Mount Edgcumbe: (Hall) Stairs_s.wall: Jemima Countess of Sandwich - daughter of John Lord Crewe and wife of 1st Earl - Mother of Anne Montague wife of Sir Richard Edgcumbe. / Peter Lely. / n.wall 2nd Earl of Sandwich […]’. Samuel Pepys thought highly of Jemima Montagu who is referred to as ‘My Lady’ in his diaries. Advice on seventeenth-century portraiture was given by Catharine MacLeod, National Portrait Gallery, in response to photographic images of the Mount Edgcumbe collection of portraits.
Henrietta, Lady Jenkinson by Philippe Mercier, 1742, the Temple Newsam House
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Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich Plume Hat by Joseph Clover, date not given (ca late 1810’s?), Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
Half-mourning dress, 1855-65 (ca 1860-63?), the North Carolina Museum of History
TWO-PIECE HAND-SEWN, BLACK SILK DRESS, FITTED, LINED, BONED BODICE, PLAIN ROUND NECKLINE, EIGHT PURPLE/BLACK SQUARE DECORATIVE BUTTONS ABOVE HOOK AND EYE CLOSURE AT CENTER FRONT, DROPPED SHOULDER, PURPLE PIPING, SHAPED SLEEVES W/PURPLE CUFFS, LACE BASTED ON CUFF EDGES; UNLINED, BELL-SHAPED, BOX PLEATED SKIRT W/WIDE PURPLE BAND AT HEMLINE (TOP OF BAND IS SINUOUS AND FINISHED W/TWISTED CORDING), LOWER EDGE OF HEM FINISHED W/URPLE WOOL BRAID, SLIGHT TRAIN, UNLINED EXCEPT FOR GLAZED BROWN COTTON AT HEM, PAIRS OF NARROW, BRAIDED TIES AT INSIDE SEAMLINES NEAR HEM, HOOK AND EYE ON WAISTBAND.
Mourning earrings, 1899-1902 US (Old Salem, NC), the North Carolina Museum of History
EARRINGS, TEARDROPS OF WOVEN BROWN HAIR ATTACHED TO DECORATIVE VERMEIL TRIANGLE, ATTACHED IN TURN TO VERMEIL MEDALLION MOUNTED ON CIRCLE OF WOVEN HAIR; FRENCH HOOKS FOR PIERCED EARS.
HAIR JEWELRY AND ART WERE POPULAR FROM THE LATE 18TH UNTIL THE EARLY 20TH CENTURIES FOR COMMEMORATIVE, MEMORIAL (MOURNING), SENTIMENTAL, AND DECORATIVE PURPOSES. DURING THE MID-19TH CENTURY MANY WOMEN TOOK UP THE HOBBY OF MAKING HAIR JEWELRY AT HOME. EARRINGS OF THIS STYLE (TABLE-WORKED DANGLES) WERE PARTICULARLY POPULAR 1850-1870. THIS PIECE WAS MADE A LITTLE LATER THAN TYPICAL FOR THIS FORM.