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Title Portrait of a Lady
Alternative Title Portrait of a Lady Wearing Pearls
Collection Astley Cheetham Art Gallery, Stalybridge
Artist Attributed to manner of Geeraerts, Marcus, the younger (Flemish painter, 1561-1635, active in England)
Previously attributed to Geeraerts, Marcus, the younger (Flemish painter, 1561-1635, active in England)
Date Earliest about 1600
Date Latest about 1650
Description Marcus Geeraerts II was born in Bruges c.1561, but moved with his father to England soon after, where he became a very successful portrait painter amongst the English aristocracy. One of the artist's most renowned works is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth known as The Ditchley Portrait (about 1592, now in the National Portrait Gallery, London). His portraits conform to the conventions of seventeenth century portrait painting, in which the depiction of richly embroidered clothes decorated with expensive lace was very important. Together with Isaac Oliver, Marcus Geeraerts the younger instigated the break from the firmly two-dimensional and linear tradition of Nicholas Hilliard and Robert Peake. However, this work seems to lack the intricate detailing of other works by the artist. The dress is painted loosely with areas of thick impasto, which contrasts greatly with the smooth, delicacy of the face. The three jewels positioned on the hair are a common feature of portraits of women at this time. So many portraits have been attributed to Gheeraerts II that there is a strong possibility of some of them, including this work, being the work of his father or, more likely, by imitators of the artist.
Current Accession Number ASTAC:1932.11
Former Accession Number 1/17/1
Subject portrait (female)
Measurements 52.5 x 39.6 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on panel
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by J. F. Cheetham 1932.
Principal Exhibitions Picture Her: Images of Women, Astley Cheetham Art Gallery, 2003
Notes 'Eight signed portraits by Gheeraerts II are known, but a further twenty two can be attributed to him with certainty on the basis of the handwriting of the inscriptions found on most of the paintings: it was Gheeraert's personal custom to put into the background of each portrait a sonnet or the date and age of the sitter. From 1620 his commissions came mainly from scholars and from gentry rather than the court.' Els Vermandere, 'Marcus Gheeraerts (ii) the Younger', 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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