Portrait of a Lady Rogier van der Weyden Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

This portrait of a young lady by Rogier van der Weyden is dated at around 1460 and must be considered one of the finest contributions by any artist in this genre.

Whilst the model herself has never been identified, she is immediately memorable. Her beauty and confident expression make this painting perhaps the highlight of this artist's entire career. It is a worthy addition to the collection of The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, USA.

There is an important technical element to this composition in that the artist makes use of the shapes of the model's headdress to provide a balance to the overall painting. The two rectangles that sit on either side of her head were perhaps added first so that the rest of the detail could be placed around them. You will see similar techniques used by other artists in the Renaissance, for example Pieta by Michelangelo was based around an invisible triangular formation. The lady’s appearance would suggest a high status within society, perhaps she was a part of the Burgundian court. Her facial features are tightly honed, perhaps by a servant for this portrait. From her plucked eyebrows to the way in which her hair is to beautifully presented, her natural beauty is maximised to the highest level possible.

Additionally, her attire is elegant and smart, with several accessories that complete her look. Her belt buckle features a high level of craftsmanship that you may not notice when first viewing this painting. Her head wear also hangs perfectly, as if placed there with the help of another. There are no creases or elements that interfere with its position. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, owns the original painting and it remains amongst the highlights of its collection of Netherlandish art. The institution as a whole has an impressively broad selection of art from the Middle Ages up to the present day, so there is something to suit pretty much any taste.

Portrait of a Lady in Detail Rogier van der Weyden