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    Thursday, June 3rd, 2021
    Master of the Countess of Warwick (active 1567-9)
    Portrait of ‘The Fair Geraldine’ (Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Countess of Lincoln, c1528-1590) Photo © National Gallery of Ireland

    THIS portrait of Elizabeth Fitzgerald, the Irish noblewoman who was Countess of Lincoln, lady in waiting and close friend of Queen Elizabeth I, is part of an exhibition of Elizabethan portraits now on at the National Gallery of Ireland. Born in Maynooth and daughter of the 9th Earl of Kildare she was a member of the Fitzgerald dynasty and known as The Fair Geraldine. Silken Thomas, who was executed for treason, was her half brother. This is the first full exhibition of colourful and engaging Elizabethan portraits in the collection. It features portraits of well-known sixteenth-century historical figures, from politicians to soldiers, royal suitors to adventurers. Portraits include Elizabeth I and her lover Robert Dudley; Sir Walter Ralegh and his wife Lady Ralegh; and the Earl of Ormond. The exhibition runs until October 3.


    Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

    This splendid full length 1600-1603 portrait of Anne Russell, Lady Herbert, later Countess of Worcester comes up at Sotheby’s sale of Old Master paintings in London on May 2.

    It represents some of the most extravagant court fashion worn during the final years of Elizabeth I’s reign. Anne is portrayed in the costume associated with Elizabeth’s maids of honour, such as the head-dress composed of silver wire and pearls.

    Anne Russell was the younger daughter of Lord John Russell (d. 1584) and Elizabeth Cooke (circa 1528-1609). She went to court as one of Queen Elizabeth I’s last maids of honour in 1594, and on 16 June 1600 the Queen honoured Anne and Henry Somerset, Lord Herbert, later 5th Earl & 1st Marquess of Worcester (1577-1646), by attending their marriage, one of the last dynastic unions of Tudor England.

    The work was reproduced in Peter Somerville-Large’s  The Irish Country House, a social history as hanging in the galleried hall at Kilcooley Abbey, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Estimated at £80,000-120,000 it was in the collection of Sir William Barker, 4th Bt. (d. 1818) at Kilcooley Abbey.  It passed by descent within the Ponsonby Barker family at Kilcooley Abbey and was with the Weiss Gallery in London in 2004.  It is described by Sotheby’s as the property of a European private collector.

    UPDATE: THIS MADE £297,000