Portrait of an unknown woman thumbnail 1
Portrait of an unknown woman thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F , Shelf 8, Case RMC, Box G

Portrait of an unknown woman

Portrait Miniature
ca. 1560 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In a chapter published in 2015 the work of Levina Teerlinc was reexamined as part of a reassessment of the workshop practice of Nicholas Hilliard (See Katherine Coombs and Alan Derbyshire, 'Nicholas Hilliard's Workshop Practice reconsidered', in 'Painting in Britain 1500-1630: Production, Influences and Patronage', ed. T.Cooper et al, Oxford, 2015, pp.241-251.) Levina Teerlinc worked for Henry VIII from 1546, receiving an annuity from the crown until her death in 1576. Teerlinc has been nominated as Hilliard’s likely tutor by Roy Strong and V.J.Murrell in their groundbreaking exhibition 'Artists of the Tudor Court', V&A, 1983, asserting that limning was a workshop tradition, passed from master to pupil. But Hilliard himself noted that Henry VIII employed ‘divers others’ for limning, some of whom plausibly worked for the crown after Henry’s death in 1547. The tendency to attribute miniatures from the 1550s and 1560s predominantly to Teerlinc has been encouraged by Strong’s creation of an oeuvre for this artist, and insistence on an unwavering line of descent from the so-called 'Ghent-Bruges tradition', with Teerlinc, the daughter of Simon Bening, the pivotal link to Hilliard. But examination of a few of those surviving miniatures from the 1550s to the 1560s suggest that they are probably by different hands, and cannot all be attributed to Teerlinc. The situation today is that there is no consensus as to works which have been attributed to Teerlinc. This work was acquired by the museum as a possible example of Teerlinc's work, but it has to remain an attribution.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour on vellum
Brief Description
Portrait miniature of an unknown woman, ca. 1560, watercolour on vellum, attributed to Levina Teerlinc (ca. 1510/20-1576).
Physical Description
Circular portrait miniature of an unknown woman, head and shoulders, wearing a bonnet, a white fur collar and a gold necklace or crucifix.
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 25mm
  • Case (with loop) height: 47mm
  • Case (without loop) height: 36mm
  • Case width: 36mm
  • Case depth: 6mm
Style
Object history
Provenance: The Duke of Beaufort; Christie's 13 December 1983, Lot 91; Brian Pilkington.
Subjects depicted
Summary
In a chapter published in 2015 the work of Levina Teerlinc was reexamined as part of a reassessment of the workshop practice of Nicholas Hilliard (See Katherine Coombs and Alan Derbyshire, 'Nicholas Hilliard's Workshop Practice reconsidered', in 'Painting in Britain 1500-1630: Production, Influences and Patronage', ed. T.Cooper et al, Oxford, 2015, pp.241-251.) Levina Teerlinc worked for Henry VIII from 1546, receiving an annuity from the crown until her death in 1576. Teerlinc has been nominated as Hilliard’s likely tutor by Roy Strong and V.J.Murrell in their groundbreaking exhibition 'Artists of the Tudor Court', V&A, 1983, asserting that limning was a workshop tradition, passed from master to pupil. But Hilliard himself noted that Henry VIII employed ‘divers others’ for limning, some of whom plausibly worked for the crown after Henry’s death in 1547. The tendency to attribute miniatures from the 1550s and 1560s predominantly to Teerlinc has been encouraged by Strong’s creation of an oeuvre for this artist, and insistence on an unwavering line of descent from the so-called 'Ghent-Bruges tradition', with Teerlinc, the daughter of Simon Bening, the pivotal link to Hilliard. But examination of a few of those surviving miniatures from the 1550s to the 1560s suggest that they are probably by different hands, and cannot all be attributed to Teerlinc. The situation today is that there is no consensus as to works which have been attributed to Teerlinc. This work was acquired by the museum as a possible example of Teerlinc's work, but it has to remain an attribution.
Collection
Accession Number
P.48-1984

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record createdJuly 8, 2003
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