Portrait of a Lady

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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We do not know the identity of this elegant young lady. Her clothes are not especially extravagant and she was perhaps a gentlewoman rather than an aristocrat.

The painting is a good example of Rogier van der Weyden’s style of portraiture. A similar, slightly smaller portrait in Washington (National Gallery of Art) is securely attributed to the artist and is of markedly higher quality, both in drawing and execution. Our painting should be attributed to an assistant or follower, who had learned much from his mentor and who may have been trying to emulate the Washington portrait or something like it.

On the back of this panel is a very damaged painting of Christ crowned with thorns. It is unusual, although not unique, to find a religious image on the back of a portrait.

The National Gallery, London



Portrait of a Lady


about 1460


Oil with egg tempera on oak


H 37 x W 27.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bequeathed by Mrs Lyne Stephens, 1895

Work type



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The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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