Inventory number
P01481
Author
Dyck, Anton van
Title
Beatrice, Countess of Oxford
Chronology
Ca. 1638
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimensions
107 cm x 86 cm
School
Flemish
Theme
Portrait
On display
Yes
Provenance
Royal Collection (Collection of Felipe V, Quinta of the Duke of El Arco, El Pardo-Madrid, “novena pieza que es de salón”, 1745, n. 256?; Quinta of the Duke of El Arco, “pieza octava de salón”, 1794, n. 205)

The wife of Robert de Vere, Count of Oxford, wears a black dress in the style popular in England in the sixteen thirties. She is depicted in a landscape or garden, in front of an outcropping of rock. In her hand is a rose, a clear allusion to matrimony, which allows us to assume that this portrait was paired with another of her husband.

The placement of the model in the foreground, in front of a large object —architecture, stone or plant— with the vanishing point in an open landscape at one side, is a compositional solution characteristic of the artist's final period in England and was to have an enormous influence on the development of English portraiture in the following centuries. The work is signed and dated on the boulder on which the Countess's hands are resting, which may be a symbol of fortitude.

In 1745, this painting entered the Royal Collection from that of the Duke of El Arco.

 
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