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Title Portrait of a Lady
Collection Astley Cheetham Art Gallery, Stalybridge
Artist Attributed to circle of Sánchez Coello, Alonso (Spanish painter, ca.1531-1588)
Date Earliest probably about 1550
Date Latest probably about 1565
Description There appear to be no precedents in this artist's work for this half-length composition of a woman; usually the pose would be three quarter or full length. The collar is also unusually elaborate and open at the front; most of his portraits of ladies have a full white collar. Sanchez Coello was a Spanish painter of Portuguese origin, born in Valencia but raised and trained in Lisbon. In 1550 he went to Brussels with Anthonis Mor, who had been in the Portuguese court portraying the royal family, and remained there with him until 1554. That year he returned to Spain and Philip II named him court painter. In early portraits such as Margaret of Parma, c.1555; (Brussels, Mus. Royaux; Isabella of Valois, c.1560; Vienna, Kunsthist. Mus.), the ornamental potential of the sitter's apparel is given full play. In later portraits the garments and symbols of the sitter's status, are still described in detail, but given less importance and are subordinated to the heads. Perhaps therefore, given the prominence of the jewellery and dress in this work, it belongs to an earlier period in Sanchez Coello's career, if indeed it is a product of his workshop at all.
Current Accession Number ASTAC:1932.4
Subject portrait (female)
Measurements 71.5 x 56 cm.0 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by J. F. Cheetham 1932.
Notes Background information on Coello from Mulcahy, Rosemarie, 'Alonzo Sanchez Coello and Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici', The Burlington Magazine, August 1996, Vol.CXXXVIII. 'There are substantial variations in the quality of certain paintings attributed to this artist but this is partly explained by the large number of assistants in his workshop over the period'. Coello's precise and analytical style owes much to his master, Anthonis Mor who had close connections with Titian, whose influence can also be discerned in Coello's paintings. 'There is abundant documentation concerning the many works commissioned and paid for by the King, but relatively few of the works have survived. Although it is known that Sanchez Coello accepted private commissions, including some from patrons outside Spain, portraits by him of people unconnected with the court are rarer and few have been identified.' Alfonso E. Perez Sanchez, 'Alonzo Sanchez Coello', Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press, 2 March 2006, http://www.groveart.com/.
Rights Owner Astley Cheetham Art Gallery
Author Lisa Howard



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