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Workshop of Anthonis Mor van Dashorst (c. 1518-76)

John, Prince of Portugal (1537-54) c.1552-4

RCIN 403953

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Before their marriage by proxy in 1552 John, Prince of Portugal and Joanna of Austria exchanged portraits – such gifts were an established component of dynastic marriage negotiations. This is believed to be the portrait of John which was hung in Joanna’s bedroom. She was said to “change her way of dressing” after its arrival. John’s rich carnation-coloured satin jerkin is worn with a matching doublet beneath (just visible at the neckline) and fur-lined short black cape. This example has sleeves and was probably known as a ‘tudesquillo’. The popularisation of short Spanish cloaks in England is credited to the arrival of Philip II in 1554 as husband of Mary I.