Mistress of the Robe

Old Master Style


Dating to around 1710, this miniature is as beguiling as it is curious. Stylistically it appears to have been inspired by or copied from an oil portrait by one of the 17th century Old Masters such as Sir Peter Lely or Sir Godfrey Kneller.

With her hair in cascading curls, she wears a low-cut dress in shimmering grey silk with a white under-slip. The artist has taken great care to capture the folds and ripples of the cloth. The dress is accessorized with a creamy pearl necklace and large pearl drop earrings that signify wealth.

Painted in watercolour on vellum, the portrait is set behind bevelled glass, edged with a gold rim and backed with metal. The absence of a hanger suggests this may have originated in the lid of a box (although the shape might contradict this supposition) or been mounted within a larger frame.

Item Ref. 7401

Size: 52 x 37mm