Jane Small, by Hans Holbein the Younger



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English: Portrait of Jane Small. Bodycolour on vellum, 5.3 cm diameter, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

This miniature portrait is also sometimes called Jane Pemberton. Jane Small (c. 1518–1602) was the daughter of Christopher Pemberton, a Northamptonshire gentleman. She married Nicholas Small, a London cloth merchant. The sitter has been identified from the Pemberton coat of arms at the back of the miniature, with the reservation that this was added in the 17th century.[1] The date of the painting is not known for certain, but the inscription records the sitter as in her 23rd year. The simplicity of her clothing reflects her relatively modest status; the red carnation may represent betrothal.[2]. In the view of art historian Graham Reynolds, Holbein "portrays a young woman whose plainness is scarcely relieved by her simple costume of black-and-white materials, and yet there can be no doubt that this is one of the great portraits of the world. With remarkable objectivity Holbein has not added anything of himself or subtracted from his sitter's image; he has seen her as she appeared in a solemn mood in the cold light of his painting-room".[3] References

  1. ? Roy Strong, Artists of the Tudor Court: the Portrait Miniature Rediscovered, 1520–1620, London: Thames & Hudson/Victoria & Albert Museum, 1983, ISBN 0905209346, p. 47.
  2. ? Susan Foister, Holbein in England, London: Tate, 2006, ISBN 1854376454, p. 49.
  3. ? Graham Reynolds, English Portrait Miniatures, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988, ISBN 0521339200, p. 7.
Date c. 1540
Source Cropped from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Janesmall.jpg (original source http://images.vam.ac.uk/ )
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