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Lady Dacre, by Hans Ewouts

Mary Neville, Lady Dacre, by Hans Ewouts, painted c. 1555-1558. Mary Neville, Lady Dacre, by Hans Ewouts, painted c. 1555-1558. Courtesy National Gallery of Canada, acc. no. 3337.

Portrait of Mary Fiennes, Baroness Dacre (1524-1576), wife of Thomas Fiennes (9th Baron Dacre). The  portrait of Lady Dacre is by the Flemish artist, Hans Ewouts (Eworth, c. 1520-1574; see also his portrait of Bess of Hardwick). The date of the painting is unknown. In her portrait, Lady Dacre is depicted wearing a smock decorated at the neck and sleeve cuffs with blackwork embroidery.

The embroidery is identical on both sides of the cloth, indicating that it was worked in double running stitch (Holbein stitch), which was very popular in sixteenth century England and other parts of Europe. The pattern used is of interlacing stylised flowers, including carnations. The painting is now in the National Gallery of Canada, acc. no. 3337.

Lady Dacre's dress, and the forget-me-not at her breast, may be a mourning outfit, relating to the death of her husband, Thomas Fiennes. He was executed some years previously for being involved in the death of a gamekeeper.

See also: Bess of Hardwick; redwork; whitework

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 6 June 2016).

National Gallery of Canada, online catalogue (retrieved 6 June 2016).

GVE

Last modified on Sunday, 13 November 2016 17:24