Portrait of a Burgomaster's Wife

Image credit: Bolton Library & Museum Services, Bolton Council

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This is a companion to 'Portrait of a Burgomaster'. The two portraits are by the same hand, have the same background, identical iconography and are mirror images in composition. Of special interest is the way in which the iconography contrasts the roles of man and wife: the Burgomaster rests his left hand on the pommel of his sword, letting us know that he is fulfilling his duty as husband and protector. The Burgomaster's wife, on the other hand, holds a key in her right hand, showing us that the management of the household and its domestic affairs are her responsibility.

Hall i' th' Wood Museum



Portrait of a Burgomaster's Wife




oil on panel


H 98 x W 66 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from William Hesketh Lever, 1902

Work type



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Normally on display at

Hall i' th' Wood Museum

Green Way, Off Crompton Way, Bolton, Greater Manchester BL1 8UA England

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