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LNor19
LNor19
Margaret Beaufort?
Jan 21 2010, 2:34 AM EST | Post edited: Jan 21 2010, 10:29 AM EST
I was reading 'Tudor Queens' by David Loades and came across a description of Margaret Beaufort in what Loades says was more of a fashionable version of her Widow's Weeds outfit seen in all of her later portraits. This one stands out, but are they really Widow's Weeds or just a outfit of the 15th century?
What do you think?
(Also, the painting may not even be her, not much is known of it other than it is believed to be Margaret)
http://tudorswiki.sho.com/photo/8768988/Margaret+Beaufort%3F

EDIT: Ok, for some reason beyond me, I wrote I read that I about Margaret in David Loades (which I am reading but totally wrong), I read about Margaret in Trevor Morris's 'Tudor Fashion'
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juliana-angela
juliana-angela
1. RE: Margaret Beaufort?
Jan 21 2010, 5:42 AM EST | Post edited: Jan 21 2010, 5:46 AM EST
",,,more of a fashionable version of her Widow's Weeds outfit seen in all of her later portraits. This one stands out, but are they really Widow's Weeds or just a outfit of the 15th century?"
What an interesting picture - I've never seen it before!

I have some knowledge of fifteenth century costume and it does not look like 'widow's weeds' to me. The colours in the headdress are quite bright.

I don't know if you have a date for the picture, but from the costume I would guess early 1480's to mid 1490's. The headdress is rather similar to that worn by the teenaged Margaret of Austria in a portrait painted in 1493, but Margaret B. has a white 'undercap' that protrudes much more. From what you see of her dress, it seems to have a natural rather than a high waistline and it is a kind of burgundy colour, possibly velvet. The really weird thing is that she appears to have no neck or upper chest - her head looks as though it is floating in space! Is she wearing some kind of black garment that goes up to her chin or is it artistic licence? Ladies sometimes had a kind of 'modesty' oanel called a partlette which 'filled in' the neck of a low squared-necked gown, but Margaret's dress isn't particuarly low-necked and partlettes were always white or cream and of a chiffony-type fabric.

Margaret's other portraits show her wearing a much more 'nun-like' garb, with a headdress that looks like a white wimple and gable. Neville Williams' biography of Henry V11 contains two such portraits of Margaret, one of which (from St. John's College Cambridge) shows her with very similar favcial features to your picture. Williams says that in later life, Margaret wore 'a hair shirt next to her skin and ...modest robes, much like a nun's habit'

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Brooke9/7
Brooke9/7
2. RE: Margaret Beaufort?
Jan 21 2010, 7:10 AM EST | Post edited: Jan 21 2010, 7:10 AM EST
"...(Also, the painting may not even be her, not much is known of it other than it is believed to be Margaret)
http://tudorswiki.sho.com/photo/8768988/Margaret+Beaufort%3F"
Hey LNor19 - it really is an enigmatic and lovely portrait. It kind of reminds me of some Flemish works but the sitter's garb looks English. I agree with juliana-angela's assessment, and now I am very very curious - where did you find this picture? I have never come across it while looking on this wiki! Many thanks.
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juliana-angela
juliana-angela
3. RE: Margaret Beaufort?
Jan 21 2010, 8:34 AM EST | Post edited: Jan 21 2010, 8:34 AM EST
"Hey LNor19 - it really is an enigmatic and lovely portrait. It kind of reminds me of some Flemish works but the sitter's garb looks English. I agree with juliana-angela's assessment, and now I am very very curious - where did you find this picture? I have never come across it while looking on this wiki! Many thanks. "
Hi Brooke, I was hoping you would post, as you know a lot about fifteenth century painting!

I agree that it looks Flemish, or maybe French - the style is rather like Roger Van Weyden. It doesn't look terribly English to me - it seems better painted than most English portraits of the period. It could have been done by a visiting foreign artist, I suppose. The style of costume is definitely North European, although not necessarily English.

I'm beginning to wonder about it being Margaret Beaufort as well. By the style of the costume, especially the headdress, I can't see it being earlier than 1483 and I suspect that it is nearer 1490. Margaret would have been 40 in 1483 and this woman looks younger, around 30. And although there is a resemblance to her other portraits as regards her features, the others show a longer face and chin.
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Maggie-AnneB.
Maggie-AnneB.
4. RE: Margaret Beaufort?
Jan 21 2010, 8:58 AM EST | Post edited: Jan 21 2010, 8:58 AM EST
"Hi Brooke, I was hoping you would post, as you know a lot about fifteenth century painting!

I agree that it looks Flemish, or maybe French - the style is rather like Roger Van Weyden. It doesn't look terribly English to me - it seems better painted than most English portraits of the period. It could have been done by a visiting foreign artist, I suppose. The style of costume is definitely North European, although not necessarily English.

I'm beginning to wonder about it being Margaret Beaufort as well. By the style of the costume, especially the headdress, I can't see it being earlier than 1483 and I suspect that it is nearer 1490. Margaret would have been 40 in 1483 and this woman looks younger, around 30. And although there is a resemblance to her other portraits as regards her features, the others show a longer face and chin."
I'm just throwing this out there, but did Margaret have a sister? I don't know all that much about her, so I had to ask that. If she did, maybe the sitter is the sister of Margaret?
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Brooke9/7
Brooke9/7
5. RE: Margaret Beaufort?
Jan 21 2010, 9:18 AM EST | Post edited: Jan 22 2010, 3:21 AM EST
Hmm, I don't know if she had any sisters (but while I'm on the Tudor Biographies www.tudorplace.ar website looking up Margaret Pole's son from your other thread, I will check!).

Like juliana-angela said earlier (I wish I knew much more about 15th century painting/portraits, thank you - I can only dream) the sitter's attire is inconclusive, but the hand really seems Flemish or Netherlandish. Check out this portrait of an unknown young man by a Master of Bruges (15th century Flanders, modern day Belgium). It looks like it could be by the same "master." Argh - I wish those old painters used signatures.

http://www.aiwaz.net/panopticon/portrait-of-a-young-man-at-prayer/gi2108c310
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LNor19
LNor19
6. RE: Margaret Beaufort?
Jan 21 2010, 10:34 AM EST | Post edited: Jan 21 2010, 10:41 AM EST
"Hey LNor19 - it really is an enigmatic and lovely portrait. It kind of reminds me of some Flemish works but the sitter's garb looks English. I agree with juliana-angela's assessment, and now I am very very curious - where did you find this picture? I have never come across it while looking on this wiki! Many thanks. "
After I read the description in 'Tudor Fashion' I had to find the portrait of Margaret in something other than black widow's weed. I found it online on Flickr, but it's apparently in the NPG of London. It's dated 1480's, which would put her in her late 30's to early 40's.

Here's the NPG link:
http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait.php?search=ss&firstRun=true&sText=margaret+beaufort&LinkID=mp00323&page=1&rNo=2&role=sit
They date the portrait to 1488, making Margaret 45.
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juliana-angela
juliana-angela
7. RE: Margaret Beaufort?
Jan 21 2010, 11:03 AM EST | Post edited: Jan 21 2010, 11:16 AM EST
"After I read the description in 'Tudor Fashion' I had to find the portrait of Margaret in something other than black widow's weed. I found it online on Flickr, but it's apparently in the NPG of London. It's dated 1480's, which would put her in her late 30's to early 40's.

Here's the NPG link:
http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait.php?search=ss&firstRun=true&sText=margaret+beaufort&LinkID=mp00323&page=1&rNo=2&role=sit
They date the portrait to 1488, making Margaret 45."
Many thanks. I went on to the NPG website and they have it listed as 'Unknown Woman, formerly known as Lady Margaret Beaufort', which suggests considerable doubt about it. It is also listed as 'Unknown artist', with no indication even as to the nationality of the painter. Helpfully, they also show other portraits of Margaret.

In 1488, Margaret wasn't a widow, she was the wife of Sir William Stanley, so she would not have worn 'widow's weeds'.

If it is Margaret, she looks very well preserved for 45, in the days before moisuriser!

Whoever it is, it is a great picture, and very interesting from the costume point of view. Thanks for sharing it!
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Maggie-AnneB.
Maggie-AnneB.
8. RE: Margaret Beaufort?
Jan 21 2010, 1:49 PM EST | Post edited: Jan 21 2010, 1:49 PM EST
It can't be denied though that this 'Unknown Sitter' portrait, does indeed favor Margaret. I was just thinking that, she could have looked young and fresh for quite sometime, especially because she wasn't the regular woman- she wasn't having lots of children, in fact, no children at all. Also, they say that grief ages you, and since this portrait was done before the deaths of her first grandson, daughter-in-law and the eventual death of her son in 1509, she could have still looked young at the time of this portrait.
Just thoughts though.
:D
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juliana-angela
juliana-angela
9. RE: Margaret Beaufort?
Jan 22 2010, 7:16 AM EST | Post edited: Jan 22 2010, 7:21 AM EST
"It can't be denied though that this 'Unknown Sitter' portrait, does indeed favor Margaret. I was just thinking that, she could have looked young and fresh for quite sometime, especially because she wasn't the regular woman- she wasn't having lots of children, in fact, no children at all. Also, they say that grief ages you, and since this portrait was done before the deaths of her first grandson, daughter-in-law and the eventual death of her son in 1509, she could have still looked young at the time of this portrait.
Just thoughts though.
:D"
That could be the case, I suppose, although there is some difference in the shape of the face compared to the other portraits. I did check to see if she had any sisters, as you wondered in an earlier post, and she had three half-sisters from her mother's first marriage who were older, so it seems unlikely to be any of them. I don't think Margaret ever went out of England and the painiting looks Flemish. It could have been a visiting artist, perhaps.

On the other hand, the lady has a rather crafty expession, as if she is plotting something, which would certainly fit with Maragret's character!
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