Collection Online
Portrait of a lady
oil on wood panel
42.0 × 29.5 cm
Place/s of Execution
inscribed in white paint u.l.: 1570
inscribed in white paint u.r.: Æ T 19
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1933
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
17th Century & Flemish Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International
The art of portraiture flourished during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England, between 1558 and 1603. In Elizabethan portraiture the sitter was typically shown in a static pose and dressed in attire that conveyed his or her wealth and social standing. Greater emphasis was placed on sitters’ rank or family history than on their personality; evident in this portrait of an elegantly attired woman who was probably a member of Elizabeth’s court. Consequently, Elizabethan portraiture provides a snapshot of the wealthy at a time when England was a world superpower.


The former framing of Portrait of a Lady (1570) was made by the company of John Thallon, possibly at the time of acquisition in 1933 and at the request of then Director, Bernard Hall.  It is in the manner of 17th century Spanish frames (see above image).

The painting was cleaned and restored in 2011, and a new frame constructed to more accurately reflect English frames from the 16th century.  These frames pay direct reference to the styles that grew out of the Low Countries in the 15th and 16th centuries, using painted surfaces and limited passages of gilding, the basic profiles being of the Italian cassetta form.

The new frame was copied from original frames on portraits of Edward IV and Henry VI in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG).  Profile drawings were provided by the NPG and the frame constructed from European oak using the joinery, painting and gilding of the period, distressed and toned to sit comfortably with the painting.

Reproduction - crafted by the NGV

European oak, painted and gilded.