An unidentified young lady of the time of Charles I
This oil portrait seems to have been omitted from Archibald's 1961 'Preliminary Catalogue' of NMM oil portraits, but the 'Concise Catalogue' (1986) identifies it as 'English school, 17th-century' and illustrates it (p.529). While faced up and invisible for conservation reasons from 1989 to 2009, the fact that it seemed to be the only unidentified female portrait in the Museum's Greenwich Hospital holding suggested (despite date issues) that it might be a hitherto unlocated one of the Hospital's first matron, Mrs Holden, bequeathed in 1739. When actively conserved it it was confirmed as an aristocratic young woman in fashionable dress of around 1635. It has since become clear that it is one of a number of works bequeathed to the Hospital in 1919 by the (very eccentric) Dr Ernest Wyndham Cottle as a portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, an identity which was queried at the time but lasted as late as 1964 in a reprint of the Museum's early guidebook to the Queen's House. While this is now discounted, it is of 1630s period and the excellent costume suggests a high-status sitter, albeit the artist is only of middling quality. It is in a simple but attractive late-17th or early 18th-century frame made up of carved and gilded wooden moulding.
Original size: 720 mm x 610 mm
- Image reference: L2523
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
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