Lady Ann Fanshawe attributed to Mignard, 1660?

Valence House Museum has been asked to find more information on this portrait. An inscription on the reverse of the canvas (see below) states that the sitter is Lady Ann Fanshawe (1625-80) and was painted by Mignard in 1660. However, in 1660 Lady Ann would have been 35 years old, and the sitter in this portrait is clearly a teenage girl. Does the clothing in the portrait, specifically the raised neckline of the dress, suggest a young age for the sitter?

In 1644, at the age of 19, Lady Ann married Sir Richard Fanshawe. As Royalists, they began their married life at court in Oxford, before travelling all over Europe in support of the exiled Prince of Wales. It is therefore possible that this portrait was painted by Mignard during this period. However, at this point Ann would have been in her early 20s.

Ann and Richard had two daughters called Ann, the first born 1646 and died 1654, the second born 1654/5 and died 1711. It is possible that this could be a portrait of one of their daughters – the second Ann grew up in Spain and Portugal whilst her father was Ambassador to those countries.

In summary, our questions are:

  1. Does this look like the work of [Pierre] Mignard?
  2. Is it correct for the date of c.1660?
  3. Does the clothing suggest a specific age for the sitter?
  4. Is it possible that this was painted whilst the family were living in Spain or Portugal?

Please share your responses in the Comments at the bottom of the page.

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