Hans Mielich (German, 1516-1573)
Oil on wood, Framed: 81 x 62.5 x 8.5 cm (31 7/8 x 24 5/8 x 3 3/8 in.); Unframed: 61.4 x 46 cm (24 3/16 x 18 1/8 in.). The Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Collection 1944.88
Maria von Freyberg was in the court of Albert V, Duke of Bavaria. However, as Lutherans, the family eventually fell from favor as Catholic political interests consolidated power in Bavaria. Mielich’s work for the Munich court included illustrating an inventory of the duchess’s jewelry, seen in the meticulous attention here to the sitter’s brooches, necklaces, and rings. The diamond and ruby ring on her left index finger would have slid apart to reveal a private message or image underneath the gems.
CMA, 1944: "The Prentiss Bequest," ct. no. 10, pl. VIII (said to have been in the C. Fairfax Murray collection, apparently having been confused with the companion portrait). CMA, November 2, 1982-March 20, 1983: "Master Goldsmiths of the Renaissance: Their Models and Designs," gallery A, no catalogue.
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