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Portrait miniature - A Woman, called Lady Leigh

A Woman, called Lady Leigh

  • Object:

    Portrait miniature

  • Place of origin:

    England (painted)

  • Date:

    1648 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cooper, Samuel (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

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

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

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

Physical description

Portrait, half-length, turned slightly to left and looking to front, with right hand touching her left arm; the sitter is wearing a pearl necklace and earrings. Features boldly and freely hatched in brown and sanguine, with some blue shadow and touches of opaque white heightening, on a pale carnation ground; hair in brown wash, hatched with darker colour and with the lights in gouache; dress in brown wash, hatched and with the lights in gouache; background an opaque brown wash, with a sky in opaque washes of blue and grey; on vellum put down on a leaf from a table-book.

Frame: Nineteenth-century oval gilt-brass frame; the flat glass fitted into a rebate; the inner margin is a row of cast and chased leaves within a shallow depression rising to a narrow reeded band and a broad convex band of acanthus leaves alternating with stemmed trefoils; the outer border is a rope moulding; the whole is inserted into a plain brass strip-ring to which the hanger is attached. The main inner part of the assemblage was probably intended originally to be fitted into a velvet covered surround.

Place of Origin

England (painted)


1648 (painted)


Cooper, Samuel (artist)

Materials and Techniques

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

Marks and inscriptions

Signed in gold, centre right


Height: 73 mm, Width: 60 mm, Height: 120 mm Frame with loop, Height: 108 mm Frame without loop, Width: 96 mm frame, Depth: 10 mm frame

Object history note

Provenance: Acquired by George Salting from an undisclosed source, and bequeathed by him to the Museum, 1910.

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature of an unknown woman, called Lady Leigh, watercolour on vellum, painted by Samuel Cooper, 1648.

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

Murdoch, John. Seventeenth-century English Miniatures in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: The Stationery Office, 1997.
Emma Rutherford and Dr Bendor Grosvenor, Warts and All. The portrait miniatures of Samuel Cooper London: Philip Mould & Company, 2013.


Vellum; Watercolour



Subjects depicted

Earrings; Necklace; Woman; Pearls


Portraits; Paintings


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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