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Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641)

Margaret Lemon (fl.1635-1640) c.1638

RCIN 402531

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Van Dyck’s mistress, who reputedly once tried to bite off his thumb during a quarrel, is depicted in the classical tradition of the ‘Modest Venus’ seeking to conceal her breasts. The lavish richness of her red silk wrap and pearls coupled with her challenging stare create a sexually-charged portrayal.