Portrait of a Lady, formerly Mary Radclyffe

Portrait of a Lady, formerly Mary Radclyffe

early 1600s
Follower of
William Larkin, American, about 1580/5-1619
Oil paint on panel
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust

Follower of William Larkin, Portrait of a Lady, early 1600s. Oil paint on wood panel; 35 3/8 × 29 1/8 in. (89.9 × 74 cm). Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2021.27

image height: 35 3/8 in, 89.8525 cm; image width: 29 1/8 in, 73.9775 cm; frame height: 43 5/8 in, 110.8075 cm; frame width: 37 1/2 in, 95.25 cm; frame depth: 2 1/2 in, 6.35 cm
European and American Art Before 1900
European Painting and Sculpture before 1900

The subject of this portrait traditionally has been identified as Mary Radclyffe, the wife of Sir John Stanhope of Elvaston, a courtier during the reign of James I. She is portrayed by a follower of William Larkin, one of the most talented native English portraitists working in a period dominated by Dutch and Flemish immigrants. Larkin was the last to work in the refined, elegant style that defined Elizabethan portraiture. Our subject’s fashions help to date the painting. The low-cut dress and closed ruff were all the rage in the first decade of the 1600s but rapidly fell from favor soon after. 

Known Provenance
William Robertson Coe Foundation, Long Island, New York; Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, November 29, 1961, lot 20; Duitt Ltd., London; Maurice H. Rosenblatt; Lewis J. Ruskin, Scottsdale, Arizona; by descent to Miss Pamela Ruskin, New York; Sotheby’s, New York, May 16, 1996, lot 19 (as Portrait of a Lady); private collection, U.K.; with Simon R. Gillespie Studio, London; from which acquired by William M. B. and Bernadette Berger, 1997; Berger Collection Educational Trust; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2021. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum and we will post information as it becomes available. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.

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