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Portrait of a Woman as a Vestal Virgin

Photo credit: National Trust, A la Ronde

How you can use this image

All rights reserved.

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other exceptions to copyright permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

For all other types of use please visit the owning collection’s website for more information about permitted uses and licensing.


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A vestal virgin, wearing pure white robes and veil, is seen pouring oil from a gold jug into an urn. A vestal virgin was a Roman priestess of the temple of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth and home. Priestesses maintained the sacred fire, which needed to be kept burning perpetually. They collected clean water, prepared food used in rituals and cared for objects in the temple's sanctuary. Sworn to chastity, the punishment for breaking this vow was being buried alive.

National Trust, A la Ronde


  • Date

    early 19th C

  • Medium

    oil on panel

  • Measurements

    41.5 x 35 cm

  • Accession number


  • Acquisition method

    purchased from Ursula Tudor Perkins with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, 1991


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Normally on display at

National Trust, A la Ronde

Summer Lane, Exmouth, Devon EX8 5BD England

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