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unknown artist sixteenth century
Formerly Steven van der Meulen, active 1543–died 1563

Portrait of a Young Woman

Former Title(s):

A Young Lady, dated 1567

Materials & Techniques:
Oil on panel
36 1/2 x 28 inches (92.7 x 71.1 cm)

Dated in yellow paint, upper right: "AN. DNI. 1567"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
art | brocade | caryatids | caul (costume component) | collar | columns (architectural elements) | corset | costume | embroidery | farthingale | gilded | gold (color) | gold braid | gown | headpiece | jewels | laurel | leaves | pendant (jewelry) | petticoat | portrait | red | relief | ruff | trim | Tudor | woman
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Although once thought to depict Queen Elizabeth I as a princess, the date of this portrait is too late for this to be true. Nevertheless, the extravagance of the woman’s richly embroidered and pearl-encrusted costume indicates that she was from the highest rank of Elizabethan society. Although she may only have been in her midteens when this painting was made, the laurel or bay leaves worn in her hat suggest that this picture celebrated a forthcoming marriage. In the sixteenth century, sprigs of gilded rosemary and bays (which were associated with constancy and love) were held aloft by the figure leading the marriage procession from the church on the day of the wedding. The unusual naked caryatids on the columns behind the sitter were probably copied from Continental engravings of fashionable architectural ornament that were newly published and being collected and emulated by discriminating patrons in England.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 160-161, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ian Tyers, The tree-ring analysis of 23 panel paintings from the Yale Center for British Art , New Haven, dendrochronological consultancy report 470 , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2011, pp. 16, 79-81, fig. 47, CC78.3 .T94 2011 [ORBIS]

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