Cornelius Johnson
Portrait of an Unknown Lady 1629

Artwork details

Cornelius Johnson 1593–1661
Portrait of an Unknown Lady
Date 1629
Medium Oil paint on oak
Dimensions Support: 410 x 330 mm
frame: 565 x 470 x 60 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1965
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1540

Display caption

Johnson, born in London in 1593 to a German/Flemish immigrant family, became an extremely prolific portraitist, working on every scale, including painting full-length groups. Unlike other miniaturists in England, who worked in watercolour on vellum, Johnson executed his miniatures in oil paint on metal (see cabinet 1: The Portrait Miniature in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries). This unidentified lady is dressed in the height of fashion. She wears a big collar of very expensive lace, which Johnson has painted with a miniaturist's attention to detail.

September 2004

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