Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Portrait of an unknown young woman; almost half-length, looking to left, wearing a linen headdress, below at left the outline of a separate hand Silverpoint on cream prepared paper

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1435-1440 (c.)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 166 millimetres
    • Width: 116 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Recto, lower left, in pen and brown ink: "-1460" (?. The Inscription now reads like "-1 . 50" but is much rubbed; the verso inscription may record the original digits)

        Verso inscribed: in graphite: "Israel Samens [?] / Tedesco / 1480" and in another hand, in pen and brown ink: "Luca d'Olanda" (perhaps 19th century) and in another hand, also in pen and brown ink (perhaps 18th century): "Ruggero di Bruselle/1460"
  • Curator's comments

    Literature: A.E. Popham, 'Drawings of the Early Flemish School', London, 1926,; Dirk de Vos, 'Rogier van der Weyden: The Complete Works', Antwerp, 1999. (rejected as Weyden); Stephanie Buck, 'Die Niederländischen Zeichnungen des 15. Jahrhunderts im Berliner Kupferstichkabinett: Kritischer Katalog', Turnhout, 2001, p.94, fig.18 (only this and the Berlin 'Half-length figure of a man' KdZ 1372 serious contenders as autograph drawings by Rogier, but by different hands; ascribes Berlin drawing to his workshop); Fritz Koreny, 'Early Netherlandish Drawings from Jan van Eyck to Hieronymus Bosch', Rubenshuis Antwerp, 2002,; T. Ketelsen and U. Neidhardt (eds.), ''Das Geheimnis des Jan van Eyck", Dresden, 2005, p.63, fig.1; L. Campbell and J. van der Stock, 'Rogier van der Weyden 1400-1464: Master of Passions', Museum M Leuven, 2009, (as Rogier van der Weyden); John Oliver Hand in 'Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns', edited by Stacey Sell and Hugo Chapman, Princeton and Oxford, 2015, p. 30, pl. 7; Joanna Russell, Judith Rayner and Jenny Bescoby, ' Northern European Metalpoint Drawings: technical examination and analysis', London, 2016, p. 32, 76.

    For other versions of the same subject see also 1895,0915.1000 and the verso of a drawing in the Universiteitsbibliotheek, Leiden, 2311.

    Label copy 2005:
    Of the few drawings that might be attributed to Rogier van der Weyden, one of the greatest artists of fifteenth-century Flanders, this is the most likely to be autograph. In style it is also similar to Jan van Eyck, as seen in the underdrawing of his Arnolfini Portrait in the National Gallery in London.
    The sitter has not been identified and no related painting is known. From her pose it is thought that the design may have been paired with another portrait, perhaps of her husband.


  • Bibliography

    • Popham (D & F) 1932 1 bibliographic details
    • Sell et al 2015 7 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Netherlandish Roy XVc/Early XVIc)

  • Exhibition history

    1973, BM, Netherlandish prints and drawings (no cat.) 1984, BM, Master Drawings & Watercolours, no. 76 2000/1 Dec-Feb, BM Great Court, Human Image 2002 June-Aug, Antwerp, Rubenshuis, 'Marvels of Delight:...' 2005 July-Sept, BM, Masterpieces of Portrait Drawing (no cat.) 2009 Sep-Dec, Leuven, Municipal Museum, Rogier van der Weyden 2015 May-Jul, Washington, National Gallery of Art, 'Drawing in Silver and Gold'
    2015 10 Sep-6 Dec, London, British Museum, 'Drawing in Silver and Gold'

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


Portrait of an unknown young woman; almost HL, looking to l, wearing a linen headdress, below at l the outline of a separate hand Metalpoint, on cream prepared paper


Portrait of an unknown young woman; almost HL, looking to l, wearing a linen headdress, below at l the outline of a separate hand Metalpoint, on cream prepared paper

Image description



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Object reference number: PDO11609

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