Retrato enigmático: La Dama del armiño, Stirling Maxwell y la recepción de El Greco

Macartney, H. (2016) Retrato enigmático: La Dama del armiño, Stirling Maxwell y la recepción de El Greco. In: Almarcha, E., Martínez-Burgos, P. and Sainz Magaña, E. (eds.) El Greco en su IV centenario: Patrimonio hispánico y diálogo intercultural. Series: Estudios (151). Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha: Cuenca. ISBN 9788490441787

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The portrait now known as the Lady in a Fur Wrap in the Stirling Maxwell Collection in Glasgow has fascinated viewers ever since it was exhibited in Paris, in the Spanish Gallery of King Louis-Philippe of France at the Louvre in 1838. From then on, its fame became linked with the rise in the international reputation of El Greco as its (presumed) creator. Amongst the visitors to the Galerie Espagnole was the young Sir William Stirling Maxwell, whose entry on the painter in his Annals of the Artists of Spain (1848) was to provide the fullest information on the painter in English up to that date, notwithstanding the author’s criticisms of the artist’s late style. Stirling went on to become the owner of the “gem” he had praised in his book, when he bought it at the auction of Louis-Philippe’s collection in 1853. Through its frequent loan to temporary exhibitions and its repeated reproduction, the Lady in turn became the most famous picture in the Stirling Maxwell collection. This paper sketches the complex history of the reception of the portrait. A summarised account is also given of the debates on the identity of the sitter (daughter of the painter, Jerónima de las Cuevas, Infanta Catalina Micaela, etc.), the artistic attribution (to El Greco, Sofonisba Anguissola, Sánchez Coello, etc.), and the date. It concludes with some reflections on the scientific analysis of the painting now planned, and whether this will finally resolve the questions surrounding this most enigmatic portrait.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:MacArtney, Dr Hilary
Authors: Macartney, H.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts
College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Publisher:Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

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