MARCUS GHEERAERTS THE YOUNGER (BRUGES 1561⁄62-1635 LONDON)
MARCUS GHEERAERTS THE YOUNGER (BRUGES 1561⁄62-1635 LONDON)
MARCUS GHEERAERTS THE YOUNGER (BRUGES 1561⁄62-1635 LONDON)
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Property sold on behalf of a Family Trust
MARCUS GHEERAERTS THE YOUNGER (BRUGES 1561⁄62-1635 LONDON)

Portrait of a lady, three-quarter-length, in a black dress with slashed sleeves and a cartwheel ruff of pointed lace

Details
MARCUS GHEERAERTS THE YOUNGER (BRUGES 1561⁄62-1635 LONDON)
Portrait of a lady, three-quarter-length, in a black dress with slashed sleeves and a cartwheel ruff of pointed lace
oil on panel
39 1⁄2 x 34 3⁄8 in. (100.4 x 87.5 cm.)
Provenance
By inheritance to Thady Wyndham Quin, 7th Earl of Dunraven and Mountearl (1939-2011) at Adare Manor, Co. Limerick, Ireland; Christie’s, on the premises, 9 June 1982, lot 79, when acquired by the father of the late owner.
Literature
O. Millar, The Age of Charles I, Painting in England, 1620-1649, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London, 1972, p. 27, under no. 24.
Sale room notice
Please note that this lot should be marked with an STAR symbol in the printed catalogue, and as such import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price, in addition to the usual 20% VAT on the Buyers Premium.

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Lot Essay

Marcus Gheeraerts II was one of the most important portrait painters working on a large scale for the Elizabethan and Jacobean courts and his portraits defined the public image of many of the leading figures of his age. Born in the Low Countries, he had moved from his native Bruges to London in 1568 with his Protestant father Marcus Gheeraerts I (c. 1520⁄1- c. 1590), who was also an artist, in order to escape the religious repression which had been unleashed by the Duke of Alva in 1567. He seems to have received much of his artistic training from his father, to whom two remarkable panels traditionally attributed to Hoefnagel have recently been assigned on the basis of his signed portrait of Queen Elizabeth I.
Gheeraerts II had established himself as a painter by the mid-1580s. Such early masterpieces as the Ditchley portrait of the Queen (London, National Portrait Gallery) and the full-length of the 2nd Earl of Essex (Woburn Abbey) date from the following decade. After the death of Queen Elizabeth I, Gheeraerts emerged as the favourite large-scale painter of King James I's Queen, Anne of Denmark, for whom he executed a number of portraits of her and her family. In 1617, Gheeraerts was referred to as 'her Majestie's painter' and following the Queen's death in 1619 he took part in her funeral procession.
Sir Oliver Millar compared the present panel with four other portraits, which he correctly regarded as late works by the artist: the picture dated 1620 of an enceinte lady tentatively identified as Anne Roper, wife of Sir Philip Constable of Everingham, lent to the 1972 exhibition by the then Duke of Norfolk, but now in the National Portrait Gallery (K. Hearn, Marcus Gheeraerts II, Elizabethan Artist, in Focus, exhibition catalogue, London, Tate, 2002, fig. 38; the compiler of the 1982 Christie’s auction catalogue evidently misconstrued Millar’s reference and stated that this lot was ‘another version’ of that picture); the Anne, Lady Fanshawe; the Anne Hales, Mrs Hoskins, Gheeraerts’ last signed and dated work of 1629 (K. Hearn, op. cit., fig. 39); and a second portrait from Adare, sold Christie’s, London, 17 March 1972, lot 72, as by Paul van Somer. Like the sitters in the ‘Constable’ and Hoskins portraits, the present sitter wears a black thread round her neck and holds this in her hand. The curtain in all three portraits is red—in this case echoing the coral of her bracelet—as it is in the somewhat earlier Mary Throckmorton, Lady Scudamore of 1615 (London, National Portrait Gallery; K. Hearn, op. cit., fig. 29). In the latter, as in the ‘Constable’ portrait and this panel, the red of the curtain is matched by that of the velvet chairs that are identical in design, but with differing finials.
That two portraits by the same hand were at Adare suggests that these were commissioned by the same family. It is very unlikely that these were owned by the Quins and perhaps only marginally less so that they were inherited by the wife of Windham Quin, 2nd Earl of Dunraven, heiress of the Wyndhams of Dunraven in Glamorganshire. She and her husband set about building a new mansion at Adare, with a Long Gallery to the decoration of which Dunraven gave close attention. He was buying portraits for the room when in London in 1840 and as he reported to his very practical wife: ‘Nothing looks so well in old places as old portraits and old glass [he went to Willament for this]. We have plenty of each’ (see the Knight of Glin, ‘Adare Manor’, introduction to the 1972 sale catalogue, p. 10). It may well prove that the Gheeraerts portraits were acquired at this time.

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