«The sitter has been linked tentatively to Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk. A portrait at Petworth (see Collins Baker, 'Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures', 1920) appears to represent the same woman on a larger scale and is inscribed with the date 1560 and the sitter's age (24). Another version of the portrait is in the Duke of Sutherland's collection.»
After having gone to considerable trouble to get a hold of a copy of this book, it does not even contain a picture of this other supposed portrait. I would like to determine for myself whether or not this is another version of the same portrait, and the same woman, people in earlier times being notoriously more lax about these matters.
There is an entry (for what must be the portrait referred to above) which simply reads:
«FLEMISH SCHOOL (XVI
«194 A Lady holding her Gloves (1560)
Half length, three-quarters left. Aquiline nose, chestnut hair, yellow lace ruff and cuffs, dark brown bodice with furred collar and sleeves, brown chequered under-sleeves and black bonnet. Her gloves in her hands, a bouquet of red and white flowers on her breast, green background. Inscribed: “AN DNI 1560 AETA 24.”
WOOD, 13½ by 10¾ in.
On the back: “1748. No. 21.” Formerly catalogued as by Marc Gerard. L. Cust assigns it to Hans Ewoouts (Walpole. Soc., vol. ii, p. 31. pl. xxx(b)).»
Collins Baker, 'Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures', 1920, p.42-43
And that's it.
The portrait referred to does not appear to be in the Petworth Collectiontoday, which is now a part of the National Trust, though I could refind nearly every painting mentioned in the book in it today.
Of course, if the lady in the painting was 24 in 1560, she was born in 1535/6, and could not possibly be lady Frandon Brandon.
At first appearance there is not anything to link either him, or the painting, to Petworth.
However, the painting fits the above description perfectly:
«FLEMISH SCHOOL (XVI
«194 A Lady holding her Gloves (1560) Half length, three-quarters left. Aquiline nose, chestnut hair, yellow lace ruff and cuffs, dark brown bodice with furred collar and sleeves, brown chequered under-sleeves and black bonnet. Her gloves in her hands, a bouquet of red and white flowers on her breast, green background. Inscribed: “AN DNI 1560 AETA 24.” WOOD, 13½ by 10¾ in. On the back: “1748. No. 21.” Formerly catalogued as by Marc Gerard. L. Cust assigns it to Hans Ewoouts (Walpole. Soc., vol. ii, p. 31. pl. xxx(b)).»
If we compare it to the description of the portrait given by Christie's we see that the inscription and even the dimensions are precisely the same.
Follower of Hans Eworth Portrait of a lady, aged 24, small half-length, in a black fur-trimmed dress and white ruff with inscription and date 'ANDNI 1560/AETA.24.' (upper right) oil on panel 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm.)
Most curious. Like I said, most of the paintings recoreded in the Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures is still in the collection today. Reading over the description in the Royal Collection again answered that seemingly unsolvable mystery. 'Another version of the portrait is in the Duke of Sutherland's collection.'
Ah. They must have meant that another version of the Petworth portrait was in the Duke of Sutherland's collection. This must be that version.
I still wonder what happened to the Petworth version and where it is today, and would dearly like to see it.
My initial hunch proved correct. I remain unconvinced, but open to the possibility that this is the same woman.
J. Stephan Edwards dismisses the possibility of the portrait in the Royal Collection being Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk on account that it dates to no earlier than 1560, based on the starched ruff (starched ruffs were introduced into England no earlier than 1560). Frances died late in 1559, so any portrait of her must necessarily have been produced before the summer of 1559 at the very latest, before starched ruffs came to England.
I have tried to trace the development of ruffs in England on the 1550s and 1560s page.
Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex (1541 – 1576) in 1572
His wife Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex and Countess of Leicester (1543 – 1634) was born on the 8th of November 1543, however, so the portrait cannot be of her, thus negating any thoughts that the portrait in the Royal Collection may have been a pendant to the one of Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex.
Instead I believe that I have conclusively identified the lady in it on my The Pagets page.
But what then of the original of the Sutherland Portrait, the one at Petworth in 1920 and attributed to Hans Eworth by Lionel Cust?
It would appear that when HM Government in the 1950s accepted a portion of Petworth’s art collection in lieu of inheritance tax (the first arrangement of its kind), the Egremonts did keep some of the art collection.
So it may still be privately owned by the Egremonts.
Another possibility is that they sold it off.
The portrait below was at Petworth in 1920.
«FRENCH SCHOOL (c. 1560)
336 Lady in a White and Brown Cap
Half length three-quarters left ; auburn hair, gold-brown cap with white and gold crown, deep black-green bodice, with gold border, full white sleeves, rose and gold embroidered cuffs and white undersleeves. Pearl and gold necklace and fine gold chain ; green curtain, left.
Wood, 8 by 6¾ in.
Formerly catalogued as by Van Leyden. On back : "292 A. Godolphin May 4, 1738" and "Hugford."»
Collins Baker, Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures (1920), p.45
There is a black and white photograph of this portrait in the book, so it is definitely this one.
Portrait of an Unknown Young Lady by Claude Corneille de Lyon (1510–c.1574)
Another portrait of the same lady is at Château de Chantilly, inscribed Laure de Noves. Laura de Noves (1310–1348), however, lived in the 14th century, while our lady lived in the middle of the 16th century.
Portrait of a lady at Château de Chantilly, inscribed Laure de Noves
The importance to our lady, the lady sometimes said to be Frances Brandon, is that it shows that the Egremonts could also have sold off the original painting said to be of the same woman that was in their possession in 1920 since then.
It is of course also possible that they still have the original in their possession.
Possible identification is based on the similarity to Frances's mother Mary 'Rose' Tudor. This lady has the same roundness of features. Here I quote unashamedly from myself: «Now, by roundness, I am not referring to plumpness, but rather to a certain roundness in facial shape and to the nose. This roundness of features can also be found in one of the commemorative wedding portraits of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon».
Furthermore, this lady is dressed in the precisely the right fashion for Frances's youth, 1530's-1540's.
There are, of course, some anachronistic details, the earrings would not be worn in England by the English until the second half of the reign of Elizabeth I Tudor (see, for example, A Queen of a New Invention by J. Stephan Edwards, p. 114), and the French hood does not look quite right, it looks like it is painted by someone who did not understand how the French hood works. Both of these facts, of course, are the results of the actual image we are looking at being a Victorian pastiche. If there is another image underneath, an actual portrait of a Tudor woman from the 1530's-1540's, we can expect these details to be 'corrected', no matter who the portrait is of.
The sitter is clearly not Mary I Tudor. Any similarity could be explained by the fact that, well, Frances and Mary were first cousins.
She is also dressed according to Frances's stature.
For the kind of jewellery Frances had access to, see the list of things given to her by her cousin, the Princess Mary:
Gifts from Mary to Frances
Gifts from Mary to Frances
Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk?
How the portrait actually looks like today.
For a black and white photograph of how the portrait looked before the disastrous cleaning in 1976 see here.
«There is a discrepancy as to who the sitter is in the Hans Eworth portrait which is featured. The coat of arms in the top left corner, which may have been added later, are the impaled arms (those of a husband and wife) of Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland, and his wife Lady Eleanor, daughter of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, and Mary Tudor, Dowager Queen of France. As a result, the painting has been frequently exhibited in the past as a portrait of Lady Eleanor, regardless of the fact that she died in 1547, well before the date of this portrait. It is, however, a rule of heraldry that impaled arms are not used by the children of a marriage, as they would have their own. Hence the later addition and erroneous use of the arms here suggests that the identity of the portrait was already unclear only two or three generations after it was painted, a situation by no means unusual amid the frequent early deaths, multiple marriages, and shifting alliances and fortunes of the most powerful families of the Tudor era. Later the portrait was thought to represent the only child of Eleanor and Henry to survive infancy, Margaret. Unfortunately the inscription on the right which might have provided a check (Margaret would have been aged 25–28 at the time of this portrait) has been truncated; although the Roman numerals of the year can apply only to 1565-8, the age of the sitter cannot be ascertained with any useful accuracy. The National Portrait Gallery has an online sketch of this portrait identified as Lady Eleanor, but the portrait remains in dispute. There is, however, a portrait of Lady Eleanor featured at Skipton Castle. It is reportedly a very poor work of art, but nonetheless interesting.»
It cannot be Eleanor Brandon, Countess of Cumberland (1519 – 27 September 1547), because the fashions are all wrong. They date to the second half of the sixteenth century, at which point poor Lady Eleanor Brandon would have been long dead.
The painting in the Art Institute Chicago bears inscriptions, however, and perhaps even more useful for identification purposes, a coat of arms: Inscribed: AETATIS 24 / 1563 / HE (on tablet at upper right), coat of arms of the Wentworth (upper left)
So she cannot be either Eleanor Brandon Clifford, her daughter Margaret Clifford Stanley or Mary Wriothesley Browne Heneage Hervey, as neither of them were from or married into the Wentworth family.