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Unknown Woman

Italian (North Italian) School

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1490 - circa 1500

Materials

Oil on panel and gilt

Measurements

254 x 190 mm (10 x 7 1/2 in)

Place of origin

Venice

Order this image

Collection

Polesden Lacey, Surrey (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Polesden Lacey, Surrey, London and South East, National Trust

NT 1246487

Caption

The painter of this portrait of an unidentified lady is unknown although likenesses on this format were popular in Venice and its environs at the turn of the sixteenth century, leading to its former, tentative attribution to Jacometto Veneziano (fl. 1472–97). A painting on the reverse side of the panel depicts a bearded figure with a book in a niche, perhaps representing Saint Mark. Intriguingly this figure is upside down in relation to portrait, which may indicate that the panel was once mounted in such a way that it could be flipped over, concealing the lady’s image.

Summary

Oil painting on panel, Unknown Woman (recto); A Saint standing in a Niche (verso), Northern Italian School, late 15th century A bust-length portrait of a young woman with red hair, almost facing, wearing a yellow dress and yellow turban, both enriched ith pearls; landscape background with church and castle. A carved and gilt frame. On the reverse, upside down on a backing panel, is the portrait of a saint, possibly Mark, holding a book; he stands in a niche with a decorated, trompe l'oeil hardstone surround.

Provenance

James Mann of Castlecraig, Peebleshire, in 1902; his sale, Sotheby's, 3 July 1929, lot 27, (acc. to notes sold in 1929 for £3,300) repd., as Lombard School; bt. Savile Gallery; with Knoedler, 1935; with Agnew by 1940 from whom it was acquired by Mrs. Greville; Originally at 16 Charles Street, Mayfair, Mrs Greville's London home, and bequeathed by Margaret McEwan, The Hon. Mrs Ronald Greville (1863-1942) with Polesden Lacey, to the National Trust, in memory of her father, William McEwan (1827-1913) in 1942. This item found on the probate inventory record for Charles Street chattels at Polesden Lacey, found in the Dining Room, page 68.

Credit line

Polesden Lacey, The McEwan Collection (National Trust)

Makers and roles

Italian (North Italian) School, photographer previously catalogued as attributed to Jacometto Veneziano (fl.1472 – 1497), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Vittore Carpaccio (Venice c.1460 – Venice c.1526), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Italian (Lombard) School, artist

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