Monday Morning Muse: Portrait of a Woman

The following portrait of a woman holding a King Charles Spaniel joined the collection in 2012.

2012-379The clothing presented in this engaging portrait—a variation of the glamorous style first popularized in mid-fifteenth-century Burgundy—proclaims the sitter’s aristocratic status: her fur-trimmed damask gown is closed with a jeweled golden belt, worn over an embroidered, narrow-sleeved kirtle, and with a “horned” jeweled hennin (or headdress) with red ear cauls. The dog she holds belongs to the breed later called a King Charles Spaniel, which has been linked to the English royal family at least since the early sixteenth century, when the only dogs that Henry VIII permitted at his court were such “small spanyells for the ladies.”

image source: Portrait of a Woman Holding a King Charles Spaniel

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