Agnes Impel

Agnes was the wife of Sir Jacob Astley the royalist commander. They had met whilst he was on the continent serving as part of the Anglo-Dutch brigade around 1619 and stayed together until Jacob died in 1652. Interestingly the BBC paintings website gives the date of her death as 1647, whilst Sir Jacob’s biography states that she outlived him. Note the anglicised spelling of her maiden name on the portrait.

The picture shows Agnes in her mourning clothes, a black coif on her head, black waistcoat,  petticoat and various black accessories; earrings, bracelet and black ribbons on her kerchief. The starkness of the black really brings out the white of her lace edged cuffs and many-layered neck linen, also showing every crease and dart in the construction.. The original hangs in the National Trust property Seaton Delaval in Northumberland.

Agnes Impel (d.1647), Lady Astley, in Mourning Dress

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