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Portrait miniature - Portrait miniature of Katherine Grey, Countess of Herford
  • Portrait miniature of Katherine Grey, Countess of Herford
    Teerlinc, Levina
  • Enlarge image

Portrait miniature of Katherine Grey, Countess of Herford

  • Object:

    Portrait miniature

  • Place of origin:

    England (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1555-1560 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Teerlinc, Levina (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on vellum portrait miniature, contained in a box of turned ivory

  • Museum number:

    P.10&A-1979

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case RMC, shelf 9, box A []

Lady Katherine Grey was one of two sisters of the martyred Lady Jane Grey, whose ‘Nine Days Reign’ after the death of King Edward VI in 1553 resulted in her imprisonment and execution. As granddaughters of Henry VIII’s sister, Mary, Queen of France, the Grey sisters enjoyed the status of royal princesses. None the less, Katherine fared only slightly better than Jane. In 1560 she secretly married without royal permission, and with the birth of her child imminent, was locked in the Tower of London by Queen Elizabeth I. There is a miniature in a private collection, also by Levina Teerlinc, of Katherine holding her child and wearing a miniature of her husband, with whom she was never reunited. In 1563 she was transferred to the country, where she died in 1568.

On the basis of costume and the sitter's age, this miniature dates from the reign of Mary I (1553-1558), who Lady Jane Grey had unsuccessfully tried to usurp. Katherine would have been about 15 to 20 years old. Levina Teerlinc’s portrait composition is based on the formula of Hans Eworth, with the sitter painted to the waist with hands clasped together. Levina was the daughter of Simon Benninck, a famous member of the Ghent-Bruges school of illuminators. She was part of the royal household, a gentlewoman to both Mary I and Elizabeth I.

Physical description

Portrait miniature of Katherine Grey, Countess of Herford, watercolour on vellum, contained in a box of turned ivory.

Place of Origin

England (probably, made)

Date

ca. 1555-1560 (made)

Artist/maker

Teerlinc, Levina (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on vellum portrait miniature, contained in a box of turned ivory

Object history note

Provenance: Sold anonymously Sotheby’s June 1979 (lot 88).

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature of Katherine Grey, Countess of Herford, watercolour on vellum, attributed to Levina Teerlinc and contained in a box of turned ivory. Flemish School, Great Britain, 1555-1560.

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

Strong, Roy. Artists of the Tudor Court: the Portrait Miniature Rediscovered 1520-1620.. London: The Victoria and Albert Museum, 1983.

Materials

Ivory; Vellum; Water-colour

Techniques

Painting

Subjects depicted

Portrait

Categories

Paintings; Portraits

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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