The Berger Collection

Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641)
Dorothy, Lady Dacre, 1633
Oil on canvas
50 x 40 in. (132 x 105.5 cm)

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The subject of this imposing portrait was born Lady Dorothy North, the daughter of Dudley, 3rd Baron North, and Frances Brocket, in 1605. At the age of twenty, she married Richard Lennart, 13th Lord Dacre, thus becoming Lady Dacre. The couple was very happy, but in 1630, after just five years of marriage, Richard died. Dorothy is shown here in mourning, wearing her "widow's weeds," a black dress and a black cap known as a "widow's peak." Attached to her pearl earrings and necklace she wears small black ribbons, and in her hand she holds a double-headed pink rose, which faces the ground. One of the heads of the rose is slightly faded, while the other is about to bloom. The flower may symbolize that although her husband is dead, Lady Dacre is still young and could love again.


Bequeathed by the sitter to her grandson Thomas Chute in 1694; by descent in the Chute family, to 1986; their sale, Sotheby’s, London, 16 July 1986, lot 26; with Heim Gallery Ltd., London; private collection, U.S.; with Simon Gillespie Studio, London


Susan J. Barnes, Nora De Poorter, Oliver Millar, and Horst Vey, Van Dyck: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, New Haven and London, 2004, no. IV.82, pp. 493–94, repr.; Erik Larsen, The Paintings of Anthony van Dyck, Supplementary Volume, forthcoming

Exhibitions: British Institute, London, 1865; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1868

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