Highly decorative, this Tudor portrait is less of a likeness than a statement of the sitter’s immense wealth and social position with her jewellery, sumptuous embroidered gown with ‘blackwork’ embroidery and elaborate ruff. In her right hand she holds a ‘flea fur’, probably of marten fur. These were valued for their decorative qualities, rather than for their success in apprehending fleas! This portrait is one of very few depictions of such furs.
Portrait Of A Lady Of Elizabeth’s Court 1595 can be viewed at Ferens Art Gallery