Archive for April 30th, 2013

April 30, 2013

Hester Tradescant and her stepchildren John and Frances

So excited to have been granted permission from the Ashmolean to post some of their portraits. This one is lovely, painted around 1644 by an unnamed English artist. Hester was the wife of John the Younger Tradescant and the original keeper of what became the Ashmolean Museum. Hester sadly died by drowning in her own pond in 1678 at which point Elias Ashmole inherited the collection. John is wearing a dark grey doublet with smallish tabs at the waist and some nice, though not exceptional linen around his neck. It looks like the lace was tacked on as an afterthought, rather than having been bought for the purpose. Frances seems to be wearing a low-ish cut bodice with lace around the collar of her smock. Hester is wearing a matching bodice and petticoat which could be in brown velvet, edged with what looks like lace made from gilt thread. Her two-layer kerchief is lined with lace as is the coif she’s wearing under her wide brimmed hat. I like the magnifying glass hanging from the left hand point of her kerchief. It’s heavy enough to drag that side of the kerchief lower than the right. They do look very serious though I have to say. Picture is © 2011 University of Oxford – Ashmolean Museum

Hester Tradescant and children

April 30, 2013

Anne, Countess of Pembroke

Painted in the style of Peter Lely around 1650. Anne was in her own right Lady Anne Clifford, she was a diarist, landowner and  twice married, first to Richard Sackville, Earl of Dorset and secondly to Philip Herbert 4th Earl of Pembroke. Most of her life was devoted to a legal battle to establish a claim to her father’s estates which had been bequeathed to her uncle for financial reasons. By the time the portrait was painted the court disputes were over and she was a very wealthy woman. It’s tricky to see too many details in this picture, but it’s obvious that her clothes are high quality. The lace edgings on her kerchief and what is visible of her smock are very fine indeed. Picture © National Portrait Gallery, London


Anne, Countess of Pembroke (Lady Anne Clifford)

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April 30, 2013

James Cranfield

James was a politician who sat in the House of Commons until he inherited the title of Earl of Middlesex from his father in 1645. I can find nothing about his politcal allegiance or of he took any part in the wars at all, but here he is in his lacy shirt and some black drapery, painted by Theodore Russell around the time he moved up to the House of Lords. The picture is at the National Trust property, Knowle near Sevenoaks in Kent.

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