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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Saturday, October 20, 2018


Bequest of Harry G. Sperling, 1971 www.metmuseum.org
No one knows precisely whom they are, this guarded young noblewoman and her fuzzy watchman.  Painted by Alonzo Sanchez Coello around the 1570s  (as it's thought), this "Portrait of a Woman" could be a member of Philip II's court; the Metropolitan Museum of Art also has citations suggesting she's a member of the Pernstein or Aragon families.  I've found out that right about this time, Vratislav von Pernstein, Chancellor of Bohemia, had married two of his daughters into the Aragon nobility. 
There's a Mannerist hyperattention to detail in the portrayal of rich textiles and surfaces, but at the same time, there is an intensity here that is arresting.  I say this not only because of this young woman's intense dark-eyed gaze; look at her dog, below.

credit as above
 Someone he liked?  Someone he didn't trust?  There is an implied third relationship here, and we'll never know whom it was who stood offstage.

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