- Follower of William Larkin, American, about 1580/5-1619
Follower of William Larkin
British, about 1580/5–1619
Portrait of a Lady, early 1600s
Oil paint on wood panel
Promised Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, TL-17950
The subject of this portrait traditionally has been identified as Mary Radclyffe, the wife of Sir John Stanhope of Elvaston, a courtier during the reign of James I. She is portrayed by a follower of William Larkin, one of the most talented native English portraitists working in a period dominated by Dutch and Flemish immigrants. Larkin was the last to work in the refined, elegant style that defined Elizabethan portraiture. Our subject’s fashions help to date the painting. The low-cut dress and closed ruff were all the rage in the first decade of the 1600s but rapidly fell from favor soon after.