In my previous post I looked at a possible portrait of Sibylla of Cleves and her son, which has been copied and also called Sophia of Mecklenberg. So that lead me down another series of mixed identities that has a little bearing on
Sophia of Pomerania, later Duchess of Mecklenberg
Her headdress has many features of a stickelsche, and the painting is most definitely posthumous as it looks more like the middle of the 16thC.
And then the other Sophia of Mecklenberg, of 1481–1503, also has a similar but not identical kind of wide supported headdress.
This headdress may be why a portrait of her in England was attributed as Sibylla of Cleves.
So far so interesting, however K. Barich has found her also in the Cranach illustrated Stammbuch as Margaret von Anhalt (1494-1521) as the second wife of Johan, after Sophia.
So far so interesting but it does suggest the headdress is in fact Saxon. Which is also similar to the shape in this portrait of an unmarried girl by Lucas Cranach with the same general shape and the letter H again.
All of which means being careful with copies and even with attributing original works as sometimes personal taste in clothing can transcend regional fashions. This is certainly true of much of the history of dress.
I spent a day yesterday gathering archival resources (I have multiple copies due to multiple scans and I really need to get them nice and tidied, it’s taking a while as you can imagine, but I found an entire class of sumptuary laws in plain sight so I’ll be transcribing that asap even though it’s literally for one city)
But I was thinking how helpful the straight transcriptions of written texts into printed have been, even if I can’t be 100% sure they are strictly accurate- see the gepend/stickelchen post.)
In this I have tried to share only paintings/illustrations from the 16thC. But that may be a bit shortsighted. I have only shared copies that look to be at least of the era. But there is at least one 19thC copy of the Bruyn portrait of Anna which happens to be by an artist who has produced paintings of people of the 16thC that we haven’t attributed as copies.
This is clearly a copy of a copy- there is no flat cap, there are four guards on her skirt, the stickelsche is not smooth. Details for a future comparison. This is a fantastic obvious copy as we have so many original copies to compare it to.
However this is not the only member of the the House of Mark to be painted by him. There is a reasonably well known portrait apparently of Sibylla after her marriage and with her son.
As a potential copy of a real painting this is very interesting and at the same time quite frustrating. Apparently there are 40 copies of this one painting by Rohrich but there is an original Cranach recently verified:
However it does bring us to another portrait by Rohrich attributed as Sibylla of Cleves, potentially before her marriage. And it’s very tempting to suppose it might be from a no longer existing portrait given the previous portrait is indeed a close copy. So very close. There is also another copy of the portrait suggesting it is of Sophia of Mecklenburg:
This seems unlikely as Sophia appears to have died in childbirth or the same year as her son was born. His father also married Margareta of Anhalt and she also died the year her only surviving son was born. Generally portraits of parent and child are of direct relationship.
Looking closely at the Windsor Castle painting, the face is a little less pointed than would be expected as he painted her so many times.
Either way this next sole portrait is quite clearly related to this copy or original portrait in at least two ways. The central pleats of the gowns and the wide collar of jewels.
The lower jeweled collar matches his own other portrait to a degree that cannot be escaped.
I have had a small copy of this as part of my old Frazzled Frau site and have not seriously considered it as part of this region before. The striped under sleeves just feel more southern, the dropped hairline and headdress. I still need to share a timeline but the stickelsche has roots in a henin style supported hat, not a haube so in fact started very high and slowly dropped to the sides over the 16thC.
Details that do make this tantilising are the half length sleeves (so very iconic of the Weiditz codex and the stained glass portrait of Maria) the decorated belt at the natural waist, even the very deep collar (not goller) can be found in late gothic art of the North Rhine. This would however date to the 1490s which is when Anna, Sibylla, and Amalia’s mother was born.
It is also unclear if Rohrich recognised the portrait he copied or if he assumed who the sitters were.
And all this leads back to the interesting clothing connections between the North Rhine and Mecklenburg. For a second post. To follow immediately.