Robert PeakeLady Anne Pope 1615

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Artwork details

Robert Peake (?1551‑1619)
Lady Anne Pope
Date 1615
MediumOil paint on wood
Dimensionssupport: 571 x 445 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1955
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1540


The sitter is identified by an inscription on the back of the painting, and the work is dated 1615, in the top right corner of the painted oval. Lady Anne Pope, who died unmarried on 13 July 1629, was the daughter of Sir William Pope, 1st Earl of Downe (1573-1631) and his wife Anne Hopton, who were married in 1595. She is thought to have been born in c.1599.

Lady Anne is richly attired, in a jacket embroidered with carnations, roses and strawberries. These can all be interpreted as symbols of love. She wears expensive lace at her neck and wrist, and strings of pearls that are symbolic of purity, but also signify her high status. Her long hair is unbound - a sign of virginity - and she is framed by the branch of a cherry-tree in fruit. Cherries were considered to be the fruit of Paradise and thus a reward of virtue. With her fashionably pale complexion, Lady Anne gazes out at the viewer with modest directness, one hand against her breast, which emphasises her large and costly pearls… (read more)

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