A Lady with a Rosary

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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A well-dressed young woman gazes out from this portrait. Her chemise seems to be embroidered in black and gold at the neck and cuffs. The golden beads among other whitish ones that hang from her girdle are probably a rosary, a devotional aid often used for prayer. We don‘t know who the woman is or the identity of the rather incompetent painter. The portrait has been attributed to Catharina van Hemessen, but it doesn’t look much like the two portraits by her in the National Gallery’s collection; admittedly, all are very small and not very expertly done. Here, the woman’s head and hands are very large in proportion to her torso; the sitters in Catharina’s portraits are more naturalistically proportioned and their hands better drawn.

The National Gallery, London



A Lady with a Rosary


about 1550


Oil on oak


H 23.8 x W 17.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bequeathed by Miss Julia E. Gordon, 1896

Work type



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The National Gallery, London

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