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Elizabeth Home, Countess of Suffolk (about 1599-1633), Kenwood House
Artist Unknown
Previously attributed to Mytens, Daniel, I (Dutch painter, ca.1590-before 1648)
Previously attributed to Somer, Paulus van, I (Flemish painter and printmaker, 1576-1621)
Date Earliest about 1615
Date Latest about 1617

Description: The attribution of this painting remains unknown, however in the mid-nineteenth century it was attributed to Daniel Mytens and in the more recent past it has been compared to the work of Paul van Somer, but neither proposal is convincing. The evidently awkward spatial relationship between the figure and the chair on which she rests her hand, the varied quality of finish in the different parts of the portrait (flesh, embroidered materials, curtains) and the overall, formulaic Jacobean composition of a figure standing on an eastern carpet, framed by deeply folded curtains, suggests a studio product executed by several different hands. The traditional identification of the sitter as Elizabeth Home (1599-1633) dates to 1873. However this cannot be tested as there are no other known portraits of her. The sitter's age in this portrait is also problematic, her dress suggests a date of 1615 when Elisabeth Home would have been about sixteen years old, while her countenance in this picture is that of a much older woman. Elisabeth Home was the daughter and co-heiress of George Home, Earl of Dunbar; in 1612 (aged thirteen) she was married to Theophilus Howard who succeeded his father as 2nd Earl of Suffolk in 1626.

Current Accession Number 88019167
Former Accession Number 17; 395
Subject portrait (Elizabeth Home, Countess of Suffolk)
Measurements 207 x 148 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given to the Nation by the Honourable Mrs Grenville Howard on the request of her mother-in-law Margaret Hyde, 19th Countess of Suffolk 1974.
Provenance Suffolk collection by descent, first recorded at Charlton Park in 1873.
Publications Paget, F. E., Some Records of the Ashsteard Estate, 1873; Boucher, F., Histoire du Costume, 1965, fig. 505; Jacob, J., The Suffolk Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, London, 1974, no. 17 (as Unknown Artist, early 17th Century).