This painting is an outstanding example of the abstract elegance characteristic of Rogier's late portraits. Although the identity of the sitter is unknown, her air of self–conscious dignity suggests that she is a member of the nobility. Her costume and severely plucked eyebrows and hairline are typical of those favored by highly placed ladies of the Burgundian court.

The stylish costume does not distract attention from the sitter. The dress, with its dark bands of fur, almost merges with the background. The spreading headdress frames and focuses attention upon her face. Light falls with exquisite beauty along the creases of the sheer veiling over her head, and gentle shadows mark her fine bone structure. In contrast to the spareness of execution in most of the painting, the gold filigree of her belt buckle is rendered with meticulous precision. The scarlet belt serves as a foil to set off her delicately clasped hands.

Rogier excelled as a portrait painter because he so vividly presented the character of the persons he portrayed. The downcast eyes, the firmly set lips, and the tense fingers reflect this woman's mental concentration. Rogier juxtaposed the strong sensation of the sitter's acute mental activity to his rigid control of the composition and the formality of her costume and pose, presenting the viewer with an image of passionate austerity.


Marks and Labels



Probably Leopold Friedrich Franz, Prince of Anhalt [d. 1817], Gotisches Haus, Wörlitz, near Dessau.[1] Probably Leopold Friedrich, Prince of Anhalt [d. 1871]; Friedrich I, Duke of Anhalt [d. 1904];[2] Friedrich II, Duke of Anhalt, Gotisches Haus, Wörlitz, and Herzogliches Schloss, Dessau, until 1925. (Bachstitz Gallery, The Hague, 1925).[3] (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris); purchased December 1926 by Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.; deeded 30 March 1932 to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1937 to NGA.

Exhibition History
Exposition des primitifs flamands et d'art ancien, Hôtel de Gouvernement Provincial, Bruges, 1902, no. 108.
Flemish and Belgian Art 1300-1900, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1927, no. 33.
Loan Exhibition of Flemish Primitives, F. Kleinberger Galleries, New York, 1929, no. 8.
Virtue and Beauty: Leonardo's 'Ginevra de' Benci' and Renaissance Portraits of Women, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2001-2002, no. 13, color repro.
Wauters, A. J. Die vlämische Malerei. Leipzig, n.d.: 64.
Firmenich-Richartz, E. "Hugo van der Goes: Eine Studie zur Geschichte der altvlämischen Malerschule." Zeitschrift für christliche Kunst 9 (1897): 385.
Friedländer, Max J. In Ausstellung von Kustwerken des Mittelalters und der Renaissance aus Berliner Privatbesitz. Exh. cat. Kunstgeschichtlichen Gesellschaft, Berlin, 1899: 7.
Wauters, A. J. Le Musée de Bruxelles. Tableaux anciens. Notice, guide et catalogue. Brussels, 1900: 60-61.
Hulin de Loo, Georges. Bruges. Exposition des tableaux flamands des XIVe, XVe, et XVIe siècles. Catalogue crtique. Ghent, 1902: 25, no. 108.
Hymans, Henri. "L'Exposition des primitifs flamands à Bruges." GBA 28 (1902): 294, repro. 293. (Repr. as a book, Paris, 1902: 62, repro. 59.)
Friedländer, Max J. "Die Brügger Leihausstellung von 1902." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 26 (1903): 71.
Friedländer, Max J. Meisterwerke der niederländischen Malerei des XV. und XVI. Jahrhunderts auf der Ausstellung zu Brügge 1902. Munich, 1903: 6, no. 12, pl. 12.
Weale, W. H. James. "The Early Painters of the Netherlands as Illustrated by the Bruges Exhibitiion of 1902." The Burlington Magazine 1 (1903):202, repro. 209.
Reinach, Salomon. Répertoire de peintures du moyen âge et de la Renaissance (1280-1580). 2 vols. Paris, 1907: 2:484, no. 2, repro.
Voll, Karl. Die alniederlädische Malerei von Jan van Eyck bis Memling. Leipzig, 1906: 73, 289.
Winkler, Friedrich. "Rogier van der Weyden." In Thieme-Becker. 37 vols. Leipzig, 1907-1950: 35(1942):472, 475.
Laban, Ferdinand. "Ein neuer Roger: Begleitworte zu seiner Veröffentlichung." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst N.F. 19 (1908): 58, 60, 64, repro. 55.
Winkler, Friedrich. Der Meister von Flémalle und Rogier van der Weyden. Strasbourg, 1913: 53-55, 176.
Friedländer, Max J. Von Eyck bis Brugel. Berlin, 1916: 175.
Conway, Sir Martin. The Van Eycks and their Followers. London, 1921: 136.
Burger, Willy. Roger van der Weyden. Leipzig, 1923: 50-51, 70, pl. 48b.
Friedländer, Max J. Die altniederländische Malerei 14 vols. 1924-1937. Berlin, 1924: 2:41, 101, no. 29-a, pl. 28. (English ed., 14 vols., 1967-1976. Leiden, 1967: 2:26, 66, no. 29-a, pl. 55.)
Art News 24 (10 October 1925): 6.
Art News 24 (30 January 1926): 1, repro.
Destrée, Jules. "Roger van der Weyden (Roger de la Pasture)." Revue de l'Art 49 (1926): repro. 145.
Holmes, Sir Charles. "Portraits by Roger van der Weyden." The Burlington Magazine 48 (1926): 122-128, pl. B.
Hulin de Loo, Georges. "Robert Campin or Rogier van der Weyden? Some Portraits Painted between 1432 and 1444." The Burlington Magazine 49 (1926): 273.
Stein, Wilhelm. "Die Bildnisse von Roger van der Weyden." Jahrbuch der königlich Preussischen Kunstsammlungen (Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen) 47 (1926): 13-14.
Demonts, Louis. "L'Exposition d'art flamand à la Royal Academy de Londres." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 15 (1927): 262.
Hulin de Loo, Georges. "Hans Memlinc in Rogier van der Weyden's Studio." The Burlington Magazine 52 (1928): 172-177, pl. 4B.
Jamot, Paul. "Roger van der Weyden et le prétendu Maître de Flémalle." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 18 (1928): 276-277, repro. 281.
Burrows, Carlyle. "Exhibitions of Flemish Primitive Painting." Parnassus 1 (November, 1929): 6-9, repro.
Rutter, Frank. "Notes of the Month." International Studio 94, no. 389 (October 1929): 65, repro.
Singleton, Esther. Old World Masters in New World Collections. New York, 1929: 166-168, repro.
Destrée, Jules. Roger de la Pasture van der Weyden. Paris and Brussels, 1930: 180-181, pl. 137.
Valentiner, Wilhelm R., ed. Unknown Masterpieces in Public and Private Collections. London, 1930: n.p., pl. 35.
Tietze, Hans. Meisterwerke europäischer Malerei in Amerika. Vienna, 1935: 127, repro. (English ed., Masterpieces of European Painting in America. New York, 1939: 127, repro.).
Cortissoz, Royal. An Introduction to the Mellon Collection. Boston, 1937: 34-35.
Hulin de Loo, Georges. "Rogier van der Weyden." In Biographie Nationale de Belgique. 29 vols. Brussels, 1938: 27:col. 241.
Schöne, Wolfgang. Dieric Bouts und seine Schule. Berlin and Leipzig, 1938: 61.
Mather, Frank Jewett, Jr. Western European Painting of the Renaissance. New York, 1939: 77, fig. 43.
De Tolnay, Charles. "Flemish Paintings in the National Gallery of Art." Magazine of Art 34 (1941): 186, 200, fig. 18.
Duveen Brothers. Duveen Pictures in Public Collections of America. New York, 1941: no. 169, repro.
Held, Julius S. "Masters of Northern Europe, 1430-1660, in the National Gallery." Art News 40, no. 8 (June 1941): 11, 13, repro.
Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1941: 214, no. 44.
"World Masterpieces Lend Supreme Distinction to National Gallery of Art." The Washington Star (16 March 1941): F6.
Book of Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 240, repro. 42.
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds., Masterpieces of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. New York, 1944: 86, color repro.
Davies, Martin. National Gallery Catalogues. Early Netherlandish School. London, 1945: 112, under no. 1433 (2d ed. 1955: 127; 3d ed. 1968: 171).
Davenport, Millia. The Book of Costume. 2 vols. New York, 1948: 1:306, no. 819, repro.
Musper, Theodore. Untersuchungen zu Rogier van der Weyden und Jan van Eyck. Stuttgart, 1948: 23-24, 59, fig. 66.
Puyvelde, Leo van. The Flemish Primitives. Brussels, 1948: 27, pl. 45.
Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): 55, repro.
Winkler, Friedrich. "Rogier van der Weyden's Early Portraits." Art Quarterly 13 (1950): 215.
Beenken, Hermann. Rogier van der Weyden. Munich, 73-75, fig. 92.
De Tolnay, Charles. "Remarques sur la Joconde." La Revue des Arts 2 (1952): 23-24.
Panofsky Erwin. Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass., 1953: 1:292, 295, 477, 2: pl. 226, fig. 367.
Davies, Martin. Primitifs Flamands. Corpus. The National Gallery, London. 3 vols. Antwerp, 1954: 2:198, under no. 60.
Genaille, Robert. From Van Eyck to Brueghel. Translated by Leslie Schenk. New York, 1954: 46, 49, color repro.
Tietze, Hans. Treasures of the Great National Galleries. New York, 1954: 112, 124, pl. 196.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1956: 36, repro.
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Comparisons in Art: A Companion to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. London, 1957 (reprinted 1959): pl. 59
Broadley Hugh T. Flemish Painting in the National Gallery of Art (Booklet no. 5 in Ten Schools of Painting in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC). Washington, 1960: 4, 16-17, color repro.
The National Gallery of Art and Its Collections. Foreword by Perry B. Cott and notes by Otto Stelzer. National Gallery of Art, Washington (undated, 1960s): 25, color repro. 11.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 100, repro.
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 139.
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds. A Pageant of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. New York, 1966: 1:80, color repro.
Frinta, Mojmír S. The Genius of Robert Campin. The Hague, 1966: 81.
The Women I Love: These Lovely Immigrants Are Part of Our National Treasure.” This Week Magazine (January 9, 1966): 10, color repro.
Eckardt, Götz. Die Schönheit der Frau in der europäischen Malerei. Berlin, 1967: 11, pl. 11.
Cuttler, Charles D. Northern Painting, from Pucelle to Bruegel: Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Centuries. New York, 1968: 125, fig. 145.
European Paintings and Sculpture: Illustrations (Companion to the Summary Catalogue, 1965). Washington, 1968: 126, no. 44, repro.
Whinney, Margaret. Early Flemish Painting. New York and Washington, 1968: 66, pl. 29.
Blum, Shirley Neilsen. Review of The Genius of Robert Campin by Mojmír Frinta. In The Art Bulletin 52 (1970): 435.
Cooke, Hereward Lester. The National Gallery of Art in Washington. Munich and Ahrbeck/Hanover, 1970: 62-63, color fig. 28.
Fingerlin, Ilse. Gürtel des hohen und späten Mittelaters. Munich, 1971: 198.
Schulz, Anne Markham. "The Columba Altarpiece and Roger van der Weyden's stylistic development." Münchener Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst, series 3.22 (1971): 104, fig. 39.
Davies, Martin. Rogier van der Weyden. London, 1972: 222, 241, pl. 107.
Schabacker, Peter H. Review of Rogier van der Weyden by Martin Davies. In The Art Quarterly 35 (1972): 424.
Campbell, Lorne. Review of Rogier van der Weyden by Martin Davies. In Apollo 98, no. 137 (July 1973): 64.
Künstler, Gustav. "Vom Entstehen des Einzelbildnisses und seiner frühen Entwicklung in der flämischen Malerei." Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte N.S. 27 (1974): 47-48, fig. 13.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 374, 375, no. 44, repro.
Kerber, Ottmar. "Rogier van der Weyden." Giessener Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte 3 (1975): 48-49, 61.
Eisler, Colin. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools Excluding Italian. Oxford, 1977: 58, under K2088 (1961.9.28).
Campbell, Lorne. "L'art du portrait dans l'oeuvre de Van der Weyden." In Rogier van der Weyden. Rogier de le Pasture. Exh. cat. Musée Communal de Bruxelles, 1979: 58, 62, repro. 60.
Watson, Ross. The National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1979: 47, 49, pl. 31.
Campbell, Lorne. Van der Weyden. New York, 1980: 9-10, 78, pl. 7.
Scott, Margaret. The History of Dress Series. Late Gothic Europe, 1400-1500. London, 1980: 163, 165, 167, 241, fig. 93.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 126, no. 116, cover, color repro.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 435, repro.
Snyder, James. Northern Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture, the Graphic Arts from 1350-1575. New York, 1985: 138, fig. 134.
Hand, John Oliver and Martha Wolff. Early Netherlandish Painting. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, 1986: 241-246, color repro. 243.
Campbell, Lorne. Renaissance Portraits: European Portrait-Painting in the 14th, 15th, and 16th Centuries. New Haven, 1990: 96-97, color fig. 111.
Kopper, Philip. America's National Gallery of Art: A Gift to the Nation. New York, 1991: 157, color repro.
National Gallery of Art. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1992: 39, repro.
Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. New York, 1995: 628, fig. 17-13.
Tansey, Richard G. and Fred S. Kleiner. Gardner's Art Through the Ages. 10th ed. Fort Worth, 1996: 663, color fig. 20.11.
Dworetzky, John P., Psychology, 1997, no. 280-281, repro.
Richler, Martha. National Gallery of Art, Washington: A World of Art. London, 1997: 42-43, color fig. 25.
Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History, 2 vols. Revised ed. New York. 1999: 2:630-632, fig. 17.16.
Southgate, M. Therese. The Art of JAMA II: Covers and Essays from The Journal of the American Medical Association. Chicago, 2001: 72-73, 210, color repro.
Virtue and Beauty: Leonardo's Ginevra de' Benci and Renaissance Portraits of Women. Exh. cat. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2001-2002: no. 13.
Honour, Hugh and John Fleming. The Visual Arts: A History. 6th ed. New York, 2002: 440, fig. 10.16.
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 42-43, no. 29, color repro.
Honour, Hugh and John Fleming. A World History of Art. 7th ed. New York, 2005: 428-429, fig. 10.16.
Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. Rev. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, 2005: 597-598, color fig. 17.17.
Gariff, David, Eric Denker, and Dennis P. Weller. The World's Most Influential Painters and the Artists They Inspired. Hauppauge, NY, 2009: 23, color repro.
Technical Summary

[1] According to a note on Friedläat;nder's photograph of the painting, "III.1926/Gereinigt Duveen Mellon," in Friedlander archive, R.K.D., The Hague.

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