Gilbert SoestPortrait of a Lady as a Shepherdess c.1670

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Artwork details

Artist
Gilbert Soest (c.1605‑1681)
Title
Portrait of a Lady as a Shepherdess
Date c.1670
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 1213 x 997 mm
Collection
Lent by the National Portrait Gallery, London 1958
On long term loan
Reference
L00099
Not on display

Summary

The sitter is depicted at three-quarter-length, seated in a hilly landscape under a cloudy evening sky, with a sheep at her knees. In her left hand is a pole with a curved metal end. This implement, known as a 'spud', was used by shepherds to control their sheep. Following the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy to the British throne in 1660, it became a fashion for ladies, particularly those of the court - and including Charles II's queen, Catherine of Braganza (1638-1705) - to be portrayed in the role of a shepherdess. This explains the outdoor setting, the sheep and the spud… (read more)

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