The Cholmondeley Ladies

Image credit: Tate

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The painting depicts two young women sitting up in bed, fully dressed, each holding an infant. They are traditionally said to be sisters, although the different coloured eyes of the ladies and children show that they are not identical twins. The babies are swaddled in red christening robes. The painting was known to be in the collection of Thomas Cholmondeley (pronounced 'Chumley'), the third son of Sir Hugh (died 1601) and Lady Mary Cholmondeley, who was an ancestor of the last Lord Delamere of Vale Royal, Cheshire. George Ormerod, in his description of the former monastery of Vale Royal ('History of Cheshire', 1882, II, pp.154–155), noted 'In the passage leading to the sleeping rooms ... an antient painting of two ladies, said to be born and married on the same day, represented with children in their arms'.

Tate Britain



The Cholmondeley Ladies




Oil on wood


H 88.6 x W 172.3 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Presented anonymously 1955

Work type



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Tate Britain

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