Unknown Couple

Catchy title, I know, but this is a lovely portrait painted by John Souch in 1640 that hangs in the Grosvenor Museum in Chester. So touching that they are holding hands, but sad that we don’t know who they are after 350 years. The lady is wearing a real confection of linen around her neck. I’m not sure exactly how it is constructed, or even how to describe it but it is made of very fine see-through linen, accentuated by the large straight hems that frame the pieces and matched by the double cuffs of the same fine linen. She has a smart black petticoat which is parted down the centre to reveal a green under-petticoat with silver decoration. She is also holding a white tulip which matches her husband’s silk doublet. Strangely the artist has left the strain lines that indicate he’s put on weight since the doublet was first fitted! Interesting that the breeches don’t match his doublet but the fly buttons do.

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