Portrait of a Lady with Parrot

Contributed by The Hunterian

Portrait of a Lady with Parrot

The sitter in this portrait by Antonis Mors is thought to be a lady named Jonekin van Herwijk. Similarities in interior and costume have led to speculation that the painting may be the direct companion to 'Portrait of a Goldsmith' (1564), which depicts her husband Steven van Herwijk, a leading goldsmith in Antwerp, Belgium. The parrot in this painting is likely to have iconographic meaning. Parrots, and the colour green, were often associated with love, which supports the idea that this painting is a marriage portrait. Unfortunately, this work has undergone a variety of conservation measures, some to its detriment. However, fine details, such as the gems, can still be seen. A comparison with the in much better condition portrait of her husband assists in assessing the original appearance of this work. This painting is housed in a fine 16th century Italian frame.

This object from the collection of the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery was selected by Shan MacDonald who created the Hunterian Art Gallery's Relic Challenge.

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