17th Century
Portrait of a Young Girl and Her Dog

Oil on canvas
Image size: 18 ¾ x 13 ¾ inches (48 x 35 centimetres)
Contemporary style frame

Caverswall Castle, Stoke on Trent

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This charming depiction of a young girl is a fine example of early 17th century Italian portraiture. The rounded neckline and braided hair suggest that it dates from the first half of that century. Hints of the wealth of the girl’s background are very evident – her necklace of pearls, the red silk cuff, her earring and her rather docile lapdog were definitely the preserves of more affluent families, if not the aristocracy.  This was a time when children were beginning to be portrayed as children, not just adults in miniature, and such portraits were usually commissioned to commemorate a notable occasion.

On the back of this painting is handwritten, in pencil, ‘Caverswall Castle, Stoke on Trent‘.  Still in existence today, this is a 17th century Grade I listed castle in the village of Caverswall, Staffordshire.