Hans Eworth active 1540–1573
Portrait of an Unknown Lady
Medium Oil paint on oak
Dimensions Support: 998 x 619 mm
Acquisition Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1984
Her rich dress and jewels show that this woman was of high rank, although her identity is unclear. Her most notable piece of jewellery is the cameo suspended on a black ribbon. It shows the figure of Prudence, one of the cardinal virtues and considered then an especially appropriate quality in a woman.
The remains of an inscription, upper right, date the picture to between 1565 and 1568. The large heraldic arms were added later; they belonged to Lady Eleanor Brandon, but she cannot be the lady depicted because she had died in 1547, around twenty years before this was painted.
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