Image Resources | Currently on View in Portraiture, Medieval Art Gallery

Lady Philippa Coningsby

George Gower (British, 1530-1596)


In this impressive example of Elizabethan portraiture, George Gower has created a memorable likeness of Lady Philippa Coningsby. His bold and rather archaic style exemplifies the distinctive neo-Medieval taste of the late Elizabethan court. Gower's portrait style, with its bright colors and patterned surfaces, developed independently of contemporary European trends toward greater naturalism.

The cherries in Lady Philippa's hand are traditional symbols of transience. This meaning is reinforced by the inscription (in French): "Pleasure dies but honor endures."

Object Information

artist
George Gower (British, 1530-1596)
creation date
1578
materials
oil on panel
dimensions
37 x 27-5/8 in.
accession number
56.107
credit line
James E. Roberts Fund
copyright
Public Domain
collection
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800
colors