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This portrait shows the competent linear style that made Van Mierevelt a favoured artist of The Hague court. The image is restrained and conservative in technique and composition, with the details of costume and face rendered with the same meticulous care. The lady’s dark dress, lavishly embroidered bodice and ruff are typical of Netherlandish dress at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Linen ruffs first became fashionable dress for men and women in the sixteenth century, and persisted in the Netherlands into the seventeenth century, becoming increasingly larger and more elaborate as seen here. At about the time the present portrait was painted, however, such stiff formal attire was gradually being abandoned by the upper classes in favour of French fashions which were softer and more elegant.

The Wallace Collection



Portrait of a Lady




oil on oak panel


H 61.7 x W 56.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Sir Richard Wallace, possibly 1872; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type



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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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