Artwork Title: Lady Elizabeth Pope, Wearing a Draped Mantle and Matching Turban

Lady Elizabeth Pope, Wearing a Draped Mantle and Matching Turban, 1615

Robert Peake

Peake's portrait of Lady Elizabeth Pope may have been commissioned by her husband, Sir William Pope, to commemorate their marriage in 1615. Lady Elizabeth is portrayed with her hair loose, a symbol of bridal virginity. She wears a draped mantle—embroidered with seed pearls in a pattern of ostrich plumes—and a matching turban. The mantle knotted on one shoulder was worn in Jacobean court masques, as the costume designs of Inigo Jones indicate. The painting’s near-nudity, however, makes the depiction of an actual masque costume unlikely. Loose hair and the classical draped mantle also figure in contemporary personifications of abstract concepts in masques and paintings. Yale art historian Ellen Chirelstein argues that Peake is portraying Lady Elizabeth as a personification of America, since her father, Sir Thomas Watson, was a major shareholder in the Virginia Company. (
Uploaded on Nov 14, 2016 by Suzan Hamer

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