Willem Wissing, Called Queen Anne (1665–1714)

Photo courtesy of Tom St Aubyn (All rights reserved)


Country House
Raynham Hall
Called Queen Anne (1665–1714)
The Red Saloon
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 75.5 cm, Overall width: 62 cm
Willem Wissing (1656-1687)
Catalogue Number


This picture has been identified as a portrait by the Dutch artist Willem Wissing (1656–1687) of Queen Anne, painted while she was Princess of Denmark. Wissing came to London in 1676 where he studied under Sir Peter Lely. He quickly became a popular portrait painter before his early death in 1687, aged just thirty-one.

RN14, which is in a fictive painted oval, shows the influence of Lely’s female portraiture in the pose and arrangement of the rope of pearls across her chest, supporting the red fabric and revealing her delicate undergarment (see for example Lady Elizabeth Strickland of 1659, SCAD Museum of Art, Georgia, inv. 139). This is a formula repeated in other portraits of women by Wissing, such as Catherine Sedley (National Portrait Gallery, NPG D1770). He is also known to have painted Queen Anne in a similar pose, in red and white attire, with comparable fluttering fabric across her neckline. Variants include portraits in the Royal Collection Trust (RCIN 405884) and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (PG 939). However, while her hair is light brown as in other early portraits of Anne (before she wore a black wig), the facial likeness is not close enough to warrant a firm identification. Although prints exist reproducing other portraiture of Anne, none have been found that match the format and clothing of this picture.

by Emily Burns

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