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An Unknown Genoese Lady

attributed to Sir Anthony Van Dyck (Antwerp 1599 - London 1641)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1622 - 1628

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

790 x 640 mm

Place of origin

Genoa

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Collection

Petworth House and Park, West Sussex

NT 486199

Caption

This picture was formerly attributed to Rubens, whose name still appears on the frame. However, stylistically, it is much closer to his pupil, Van Dyck. X-ray photographs have revealed a number of sketches beneath the figure, including a pointing hand, a bare tree, as well as figural studies. The technique found in the X-ray is not that usually encountered with Van Dyck. The black ground which is seen here is caused by a lack of white lead in the paint; whereas X-rays of paintings by Van Dyck normally have a mottled effect produced by a mixture of white lead, and the painting on top, due to the opaqueness of this ground, tends to be almost invisible.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, An Unknown Genoese Lady, attributed to Sir Anthony Van Dyck (Antwerp 1599 - London 1641), 1622/28. A half-length portrait of a woman, turned slightly to the left, gazing at the spectator, wearing a black dress and with her right hand fingering a gold chain on her breast.

Provenance

In the collection of the 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751-1837) by 1835. Thence by descent, until the death in 1952 of the 3rd Lord Leconfield, who had given Petworth to the National Trust in 1947, and whose nephew and heir, John Wyndham, 6th Lord Leconfield and 1st Lord Egremont (1920-72) arranged for the acceptance of the major portion of the collections at Petworth in lieu of death duties (the first ever such arrangement) in 1956 by H.M.Treasury.

Credit line

Petworth House, The Egremont Collection (acquired in lieu of tax by HM Treasury in 1956 and subsequently transferred to the National Trust)

Makers and roles

attributed to Sir Anthony Van Dyck (Antwerp 1599 - London 1641), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577 - Antwerp 1640), artist

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