Attributed to Caterina van Hemessen. Portrait of a Young Lady. c. 1560. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Bequest of Saidie A. May, BMA 1951.397
Eight portraits signed by Caterina van Hemessen are known. Although this painting is not one of those bearing her signature, the pose of the unidentified sitter, the setting, and the stylish costume and accessories of the young woman are consistent with the artist’s known work. The young sitter wears a richly brocaded cap, as well as an elegant dark dress accented with gold buttons, neck chains, bracelets, and belt. Her delicate hands and slim waist suggest she is no more than a teenager.
This jewel-like painting was purchased by Saidie May in New York in 1924, when she and her husband Herbert were forming their collection of historic and modern works of art. It appears in several photographs of their New York apartment in various locations, and must have been one of her favorite objects. In 1940, the portrait was installed in the Museum’s Renaissance Room, a gallery of historic works of art from Saidie May’s collection.
By Jan Ryan
These kleptomaniacs would steal candles from a church. He pointed and she pocketed. With the ruckus behind the plants (Remus and Romulus basket kidnapping) you may wonder how anyone witnessed anything but I had a higher vantage point.
Newspapers were spread open across the carpet. They LOVED the publicity. They read the news coverage out loud to each other every day. Things were calm with Saidie May and the young lady but forget any peace with these basket cases. They were your feral children.
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