Portrait of a Noblewoman, Probably Isabella of Portugal (1397–1472)

Artist: Netherlandish Painter (mid-15th century)

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: Overall 13 5/8 x 10 5/8 in. (34.6 x 27 cm), with added strips of 1/8 in. (0.3 cm) at each side

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness, 1950

Accession Number: 50.145.15


Daughter of João I of Portugal and Philippa of Lancaster, Isabella of Portugal was born in 1397 and married Duke Philip the Good, becoming duchess of Burgundy, in 1429. This is one of several versions of Isabella's portrait, produced around 1450 when she was fifty-three. She is shown wearing gold brocade and a hat encrusted with jewels—a style of dress that corresponds to mid-fifteenth-century fashion. The Museum's portrait is probably not the original version, but rather an early copy that served as one of a number of official likenesses of Isabella, whose image was much in demand in the Burgundian territories. The near-profile pose, though uncommon in the Netherlands around this time, allowed the anonymous painter to convey a convincing yet elegant image of the duchess.