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Portrait miniature - An Unknown Woman

An Unknown Woman

  • Object:

    Portrait miniature

  • Place of origin:

    England (painted)

  • Date:

    ca.1680 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cross, Peter (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on vellum put down on a leaf from a table-book

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by the Reverend Alexander Dyce

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case RMC, shelf 1, box I

Physical description

Portrait of a woman, head and shoulders, facing to front, her hair flowing over her left shoulder and wearing a pearl earring in the right ear. Features hatched in brown and sanguine, with blue and red stippling in the shadows, and gum highlights in the eyes, nostrils and lips, on a pale carnation ground; hair in brown wash over the carnation, hatched with darker colour and with pale gouache highlights; dress in transparent blue washes and the lights in white; robe in brown wash, hatched with darker colour and with pale gouache lights; chemise in white, modelled in grey, showing graphite underdrawing round the neckline; background a brown wash, hatched with darker colour and shading to paler colour behind the head; on vellum put down on a leaffrom a table-book.

Frame: A turned oval of ebonised fruitwood, with convex glass and velvet-covered backboard; a nineteenth-century imitation of the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century pattern.

Place of Origin

England (painted)


ca.1680 (painted)


Cross, Peter (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on vellum put down on a leaf from a table-book


Height: 85 mm, Width: 67 mm

Object history note

Provenance: Acquired from an unrecorded source by Alexander Dyce, and by him bequeathed to the Museum, 1869.

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature of an unknown woman, watercolour on vellum, English, possibly a copy after Peter Cross, ca.1680.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Murdoch, John. Seventeenth- century English Miniatures in the Collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum. London: The Stationery Office in association with the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1997.


Watercolour; Vellum



Subjects depicted

Woman; Earring; Pearl


Paintings; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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