Art History, art news, Painters

Unwrapping an Icon

Lately the painting Lady in a Fur Wrap has been subject of debate, probably due to the recent Anguissola’s exhibition at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, as the Italian has been considered as a possible author of the portrait.

Lady in a Fur Wrap – attributed to Alonso Sánchez Coello, Pollock House
(Photo credit: Pinterest)

It is not the first time that the Pollock House’s portrait is in the centre of a debate on its authorship. This painting has been attributed to various artists such as El Greco, Sofonisba Anguissola and more recently to Alonso Sánchez Coello.

The mystery of this portrait always puzzled the art historians and until not so long ago, there was a group of them that defended El Greco’s as the legitimate author, there is still a group who believed the painting is an Anguissola. However, a collaborative research project is now attributing the painting to Spanish court portraitist Alonso Sánchez Coello, based on scientific and historical data.

Unwrapping an Icon is a collaborative research project as a response to the obvious need for a thorough and objective assessment of all the evidence available on Lady in a Fur Wrap. The Stirling Maxwell Research Project is one of the many collaborators in this project who works closely with the Museo Nacional del Prado and in consultation with other specialists in Art History, Technical Art History, Dress and Social History to analyse and interpret the results through detailed comparison with other portraits and their scientific and historical data.

Lady in a Fur Wrap will be ready for her reinstallation and reinterpretation at the Pollock House this year. And a publication with the details, conclusions and results of the investigation is also planned.

I must confess to feel very disappointed with these results. I have always believed that it was a portrait by Anguissola, I cannot help to see resemblances among other of her paintings. For now, I can only wait for the publication, and after reading the results draw my own conclusions on it.

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