Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Portrait of a Woman

Artist:
Alonzo Sánchez Coello (Spanish, 1531/32–1588)
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
38 3/4 x 28 3/8 in. (98.4 x 72.1 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Harry G. Sperling, 1971
Accession Number:
1976.100.18
Not on view
Mr. and Mrs. George L. Mesker, Palm Beach (until his d. 1935/36); Mrs. George L. (Elizabeth D.) Mesker, Palm Beach (1935/36–1943; her estate sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, October 27–30, 1943, no. 501, for $775); [Arnold Seligman, Rey & Co., New York, 1943–44; sold for $8000 to Minneapolis]; Minneapolis Institute of Arts (1944–58; sold to Weitzner); [Julius Weitzner, New York, from 1958]; Mr. Endicott, New York (until 1960; sold to Newhouse and de Boer); [Newhouse, New York, and P. de Boer, Amsterdam, 1960]; [P. de Boer, Amsterdam, 1961; sold to Kleinberger]; [Kleinberger, New York, 1961–75; bequeathed by Harry G. Sperling, last surviving partner of firm, to MMA]
Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "Spanish Painting, XVII–XX Centuries," January 4–27, 1963, no catalogue?

"An Echo of Imperial Spain." Bulletin of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts 34 (February 3, 1945), pp. 16, 21, ill. p. 19 and cover (detail), attributes this portrait to Sánchez Coello; observes in it the "restrained and scrupulous technique" of Anthonis Mor, adding that in the head "there is a delicate and appealing quality which marks Sanchez Coello's best works"; suggests the sitter is a member of the court of Philip II.

Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño. La pintura española fuera de España. Madrid, 1958, p. 300, no. 2605, lists it with the works of Sánchez Coello.

Maria Kusche. Letter to Dulce Roman. March 29, 1997, attributes this portrait without hesitation to Rolam del Mois [Roland de Mois or Rolán Moys, born about 1520, died 1592], an artist of Flemish origin who was painter to the Aragonese Dukes of Villahermosa in Saragossa .

Maria Kusche. Retratos y retratadores: Alonso Sánchez Coello y sus competidores, Sofonisba Anguissola, Jorge de la Rúa y Rolán Moys. Madrid, 2003, pp. 120, 570, ill. cover (color detail) and fig. 88 (color), attributes this portrait to Rolán Moys and dates it to the late 1570s; identifies the sitter as a member of the Pernstein or Aragón family; describes the rose and reddish tonalities as characteristic of Moys' art.

Old Master & British Paintings. Sotheby's, London. December 10, 2009, p. 25, under no. 121, as "Portrait of a Noblewoman of the Pernstein or Aragon Families".



Based on the sitter's costume and hairstyle, this portrait most likely dates between the late 1570s and early 1580s. The sitter wears a full-length outergarment known as the "galera" or "galerilla," which was open in front with a raised collar at the back and had false sleeves with openings near the elbow. Her ruff almost completely covers her ears, and is characteristic of the style worn in the 1580s (see Carmen Bernis, "La Moda en la España de Felipe II a través del retrate de corte," in Alonso Sánchez Coello y el retrato en la corte de Felipe II, Madrid, 1990, pp. 65–111).
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