16th century

16th century

A rare sixteenth century Iranian miniature showes a lady working her embroidery. The image comes from a folio of the late fifteenth century Persian work, the Haft Aurang (‘Seven Thrones’), by Nur ad-Din Abd-ar Rahman Jami (d. 1492), from the verso: 'The Flight of the Tortoise'. The manuscript is now in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA.

Portrait of a Lady in Green is a painting of an unknown woman by the Italian (Florentine) artist, Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572). It has been suggested that the sitter is the daughter of the Florentine, Matteo Soffaroni, but this is not certain. The portrait is believed to have been painted between 1530 and 1532. It is now in the Royal Collection, London (acc. no. RCIN 405754).

'Portrait of a Young Merchant' or 'Portrait of a Young Man at his Desk' is a painting by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543). It dates to 1541 and measures 46.5 x 34.8 cm. The man is depicted wearing rich, but subdued clothing, including a black fur coat with short sleeves. The shirt is pulled into small gathers around the neck and fastened into a collar band decorated with blackwork with a design in dull yellow.

'Portrait of an Unknown Woman' is a painting, dated 1564, by the German artist, Lucas Cranach the Younger (1515-1586). It portrays a rich, but now unknown young woman wearing an elaborate outfit with many heavy golden chain necklaces. Her elaborate gown in black, red and white includes various items of embroidery, notably her sleeve cuffs and matching front waist band.

The German artist Hans Holbein the Younger (c. 1497-1543) was the son of Hans Holbein (the Senior; c. 1465-1524), who was also a well-known painter. The younger Holbein grew up in Augsburg and then went to Basel (Switzerland) to study painting. Holbein the Younger is known for his fine drawings and paintings, especially those of a religious nature, and his portraits of North European royalty and notables.

A painting by an unknown artist shows Queen Elizabeth I of England wearing a beautiful gold embroidered dress. The painting dates from between c. 1580-1603. It shows the queen towards the end of her life. She is wearing a richly bejewelled gown, headdress and veil. In her hand she has the badge of the Order of the Garter (also known as 'the Lesser George'), which is suspended from a blue ribbon.

Queen Elizabeth I of England (r: 1558-1603) was portrayed by the English painter, Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619). The painting dates to about 1574. The queen is depicted wearing a plum red gown decorated with applied jewels, including pearls and emeralds.

A portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, painted around 1599 in the studio of the English goldsmith and painter, Nicholas Hilliard, shows the British queen in the last years of her life. The portrait was perhaps commissioned by Bess of Hardwick, and is housed in Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire. The painting measures 223.5 x 169 cm.

The National Portrait Gallery in London houses a portrait (91.4 x 75 cm) of Sir Walter Ralegh (c. 1554-1618), dated to 1588 and painted by an unknown artist. It shows the famous English sailor and explorer, and also author, courtier and poet, who made various voyages to Middle and South America. He was instrumental in the British colonisation of North America, and was dedicated to the seach for the famous El Dorado.

A painting by Jacob de Punder (Jacques de Poindre; 1527-1570) made in Mechelen, Belgium, in 1563 bears a representation of St Nicolas. The painting, which measures 85.5 x 57.5 cm, was housed in the Abbey of Grimbergen, Brabant, Belgium, until the end of the eighteenth century. In 1964 it was acquired by the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, USA. 

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