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.
Bust of Archduchess Margaret of Austria (1480-1530) as a Widow by anonymous, after 1506 the Netherlands, Kunst Historisches Museum Wien
This seems to be a much more flattering version of a portrait in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium by Bernard van Orley. If the van Orley image is the original, then the Vienna one probably dates from at least 1518, when van Orley became Margaret of Austria’s official painter. She could be mourning for her father, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, who died in 1519.
Beatrice d’Este by Bartolomeo Veneto, ca 1500 Italy, Snite Museum of Art (University of Notre Dame)
According to Gogm: “[Beatrice d’Este] lived from 1475-1497 so this is either a posthumous portrait or the circa 1500 in the date needs to be taken seriously.”
The Birth and Naming of St John the Baptist, attributed to Bernard van Orley, 1514-15 the Netherlands, the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Click for a giant image.
Portrait of Prince Edward, later King Edward VI of England by Hans Holbein the Younger, 1537-38 England, National Gallery of Art (Washington DC)
Inscribed across the bottom:
PARVVLE PATRISSA, PATRIÆ VIRTVTIS ET HÆRESESTO, NIHIL MAIVS MAXIMVS ORBIS HABET.GNATVM VIX POSSVNT COELVM ET NATVRA DEDISSE,HVIVS QVEM PATRIS, VICTVS HONORET HONOS.ÆQVATO TANTVM, TANTI TV FACTA PARENTIS,VOTA HOMINVM, VIX QVO PROGREDIANTVR, HABENTVINCITO, VICISTI. QVOT REGES PRISCVS ADORATORBIS, NEC TE QVI VINCERE POSSIT, ERIT.
Ricard Morysini Car.
Little one, emulate thy father and be the heir of his virtue; the world contains nothing greater. Heaven and earth could scarcely produce a son whose glory would surpass that of such a father. Do thou but equal the deeds of thy parent and men can ask no more. Shouldst thou surpass him, thou hast outstript all, nor shall any surpass thee in ages to come. By Sir Richard Morison.
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Reliquary Bust of a Female Saint, ca. 1520–30
Oak, paint, gilt Overall: 16 11/16 x 12 3/4 x 6 1/4 in. (42.4 x 32.4 x 15.9 cm)The Cloisters CollectionThe Met
This is very, very cool. What a nice reference for her hairstyle!
Tagging all those pre-18th century posts has given me inspiration to beef up that category.