The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Lady with a Fan
  • Diego Velázquez (1599 - 1660)
  • The Lady with a Fan
  • Spain
  • c. 1640
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 95 x 70 cm
    Object size: 122.5 x 99 x 7.5 cm
  • P88
  • Great Gallery
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • As court painter to King Philip IV of Spain, Diego Velázquez created
    consummate portraits of the Spanish royal family and the high nobility.
    The Lady with a Fan is one of his most famous and enigmatic portraits. Long
    believed to represent a Spanish lady, recent studies have suggested that the
    sitter may have been French and not Spanish. The only Frenchwoman known
    to have been painted by Velázquez was the Duchess of Chevreuse, intimate
    friend of the Spanish-born Queen of France, Anne of Austria. Her political
    conspiring brought her the enmity of the powerful Cardinal Richelieu
    and, in 1637, forced her to escape to Spain. In the Devonshire Collection
    at Chatsworth is another portrait of the same woman, probably slightly
    younger, in a much more modest pose and clearly Spanish dress.
    This painting was acquired by the 4th Marquess of Hertford in 1847
    for 15,000 francs (about £600).