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Attributed to circle of Closterman, John (German painter, 1660-1711, active in England) , Portrait of a Lady, called Sarah Jennings, Duchess of Marlborough

Core Record

Title Portrait of a Lady, called Sarah Jennings, Duchess of Marlborough
Alternative Title Sarah Jennings, Duchess of Marlborough
Collection National Trust for Scotland (Fyvie Castle)
Artist Attributed to circle of Closterman, John (German painter, 1660-1711, active in England)
Previously attributed to circle of Dahl, Michael, I (Swedish painter, born 1656 or 1659, died 1743, active in England)
Date Earliest possibly 1690
Date Latest probably 1700
Description This sitter is traditionally known as Sarah Jennings, Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1744). Sarah was famous for her influential friendship with Queen Anne, and for being the wife of the soldier and statesman John Churchill, whom she married in 1678.

The sitter holds a lock of her hair, which alludes to Renaissance images of the goddess Venus. The spaniel puppy she holds in her right hand probably refers to marital fidelity. These two themes suggest that the picture relates to the sitter's marriage, and raises the possibility that it is one half of a pair of portraits, the other being of her husband.

Current Accession Number Pending
Inscription front ur 'Sarah Jennings/ Duchess of Marlbrough' [sic]
Subject portrait (Jennings, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough); animal (dog)
Measurements 87.6 x 71.1 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased from the Forbes-Leith family 1984.
Provenance By descent in the Gordon and later Forbes-Leith families.
Rights Owner National Trust for Scotland
Author David Taylor
 

 

 

 

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