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Purchased London c. 1929 by Mrs. Bowman Gray, as Lady Warrender by Lely;[1] by descent to Gordon Gray, Washington; gift to NGA, 1977.

Technical Summary

The medium-weight canvas is plain woven; it has been lined. The ground is pinkish brown, smoothly and thinly applied, leaving the fabric pattern fairly pronounced. The painting is executed in rich, opaque, but thin layers overall with thicker, smoothly blended layers in the flesh tones and more textured paint in the highlights; the flesh tones and highlights are modified by thin, delicate glazes. The design is built up in a fairly specific sequence of paint layers locally applied over the ground; thus, the light colored bands of sky are constructed with a yellow ocher underlayer covered with a thin, dry layer of light blue, and the contours of the head are defined by a narrow band of dark blue underpaint covered with strokes of earth red, used also to model the shadows in the face. The thin glazes in the face and the darkest shadowed areas of the dress are moderately abraded; otherwise, the painting is in excellent condition. The thin natural resin varnish has discolored only slightly.


European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 378, repro., as Portrait of a Woman
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 254-257, color repro. 255.

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