Portrait of a Lady, probably Anne Simms Reeve of Brancaster Hall, Norfolk

Half-length portrait of a young woman facing right with dark brown hair wearing a yellow satin dress. The upper part of her bodice is trimmed with black ribbons arranged in vertical stripes. She wears gold ovoid pendant earrings, and a strand of pearls in her hair. In the background are branches of oleander, and to the left of the sitter, is a panel of brocaded textile of late medieval design.
Frederick Sandys
The precise identification of the sitter is a bit problematic, but there is much evidence to suggest she is Anne Simms Reeve, the sister of Philip Bedingfeld, LLP, JP of Ditchingham Hall, Norfolk, and daughter of William Browne of Tichwell, Norfolk, who married B. Simms Reeve, Q.C. of nearby Brancaster in 1854. Like many of the Pre-Raphaelite artists with whom he associated, Sandys had a penchant for 15th-16th-century Flemish and German art, which is evidenced by the meticulous attention to detail, crisp delineation of forms, highly-finished enamel-like surface, along with the lush brocade and exotic foliage in the background of this panel painting.
Museum purchase made possible by a gift from Helmut Stern
Tuesday, June 28, 2022