Robert Peake, ‘Lady Anne Pope’ 1615
Robert Peake
Lady Anne Pope 1615

What a painter. The art critic Laura Cumming said he was special and out on his own, or something like that, and put a big picture in the Observer. I couldn’t stop looking at it. His portrait of Henry Stuart with red legs and puff-tunic is ace – specific, metaphysical and terrific; and with a wonderful look on his face. And now, Lady Anne Pope with cherries danging round her… innocence? It doesn’t matter, it’s such a good idea to have ‘fill-in’ with dense out-of-scale cherries, and with leaves. No status symbol here, or positioning. The faces of his portraits are not all the same; and the inclusion of props of trees, castles and clouds for outside and silvery colours inside, plus the isolation of face-colour, completely suits me – I wish I had one of his paintings. His dogs are good as well, and his horses. Marcus Gheeraerts doesn’t have his magic.