sixteenth century portray dubbed The Previous Duchess for 150 years may simply be a portrait of a cross-dressing man, new analysis says

  • Quentin Massys’ well-known portrait ‘An Previous Girl’ may be a ‘play on gender’
  • The portray thought be created in 1513 hangs within the Nationwide Gallery in London 

It’s the satirical sixteenth Century portrait that impressed Sir John Tenniel’s illustration of The Duchess in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

However regardless of being dubbed ‘The Previous Duchess’ for greater than 150 years, it appears that evidently Quentin Massys’ An Previous Girl may effectively be a portrait of a person.

A brand new evaluation of the well-known portrait by the Flemish artist, that hangs in The Nationwide Gallery, has thrown up the chance that the topic could possibly be a male transvestite.

Based on new analysis, the oil on oak portray, thought to have been created round 1513, may have been a ‘play on gender.’ 

 ‘Sure, she is probably a he,’ Emma Capron, curator of forthcoming exhibition, The Ugly Duchess: Magnificence and Satire within the Renaissance, advised The Observer.

According to new research, the oil on oak painting, thought to have been created around 1513, could have been a ¿play on gender¿ (pictured: Quentin Massys¿ An Old Woman (The Ugly Duchess) )

Based on new analysis, the oil on oak portray, thought to have been created round 1513, may have been a ‘play on gender’ (pictured: Quentin Massys’ An Previous Girl (The Ugly Duchess) )

‘A cross-dresser as a play on gender. We all know that Massys was very involved in carnivals, the place males would impersonate girls.’

Whereas topic of the portrait has a grizzled face, they’re additionally wearing female garments and have cleavage on present, which Miss Capron mentioned is a ‘Massys fantasy.’

Regardless of their look, the sitter was at all times considered a girl. More moderen hypothesis advised the topic may have a deformity or undergo from a illness similar to Paget’s.

‘It’s not Paget’s, nor any of the opposite ideas like dwarfism or elephantiasis. I’m actually reluctant, too, to have docs going round galleries and giving diagnoses,’ mentioned Miss Capron.

The portray is extensively acknowledged to be satirical with most assuming it to be a touch upon society’s obsession with sustaining a youthful superb of magnificence into previous age.

The well-known portrait by the Flemish artist, dubbed 'The Old Duchess', hangs in The National Gallery in London

The well-known portrait by the Flemish artist, dubbed ‘The Previous Duchess’, hangs in The Nationwide Gallery in London

The topic holds a purple budding flower, thought to symbolise engagement.

The portray will likely be reunited with Portrait of an Previous Man, the opposite half of what’s thought to have been a diptych, for the brand new exhibition at The Nationwide Gallery, which begins on Thursday. 

It was beforehand held in a non-public assortment in America.