Marcus Gheeraerts IIPortrait of a Woman in Red 1620

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Artwork details

Artist
Marcus Gheeraerts II (1561 or 2‑1636)
Title
Portrait of a Woman in Red
Date 1620
MediumOil paint on oak
Dimensionssupport: 1143 x 902 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1982
Reference
T03456
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1540

Summary

This portrait is traditionally thought to represent a lady of the Constable family, who were ancestors of the Dukes of Norfolk in the Herries line. If this is the case, she may be Anne, daughter of Sir William Roper, the wife of Sir Philip Constable Bt, of Everingham, Yorkshire. The elaborate pendant jewel above the sitter's foreheard appears to incorporate an 'R', which could stand for 'Roper'.

The painting is inscribed '1620' above the left arm of the sitter, who is evidently very pregnant. Anne is recorded as having borne several children between 1618 and 1630. From the 1580s through to about 1630, what might be termed the 'pregnancy portrait' seems to have been a distinct sub-genre of British portraiture (see Hearn, 2000)… (read more)

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