Portrait of a woman. Dutch golden age. A lady about thirty-four years of age with her fair hair in curls, stands full length at her toilet table, almost facing the spectator. She has a book in one hand and holds up her skirt with the other. She wears a light blue satin dress embroidered with gold lace. On the table, which is covered with a Turkey carpet, are a mirror, a silver box, and a candlestick. A spaniel frisks at her feet.

Portrait of Lucia Wijbrants, 1667

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We can now put a name to this face. For centuries, this painting was known simply as Portrait of a Woman. Recent research revealed her identity: Lucia Wijbrants, the wealthy widow of a Dutch cloth merchant. She stands at her dressing table, surrounded by her pricey possessions, while a frisky spaniel begs for attention. Lucia emerged from a variety of sources, including known portraits (of her and her husband) featuring similar likenesses and some of the same belongings pictured here. In fact, the bed behind her was previously owned by her husband’s first wife.

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Audio

Gabriel Metsu, Portrait of a Lady (#124)
Details
Title
Portrait of Lucia Wijbrants
Artist Life
1629–1667
Role
Artist
Accession Number
92.16
Curator Approved

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Portrait of a woman. Dutch golden age. A lady about thirty-four years of age with her fair hair in curls, stands full length at her toilet table, almost facing the spectator. She has a book in one hand and holds up her skirt with the other. She wears a light blue satin dress embroidered with gold lace. On the table, which is covered with a Turkey carpet, are a mirror, a silver box, and a candlestick. A spaniel frisks at her feet.