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A Lady

Susan Penelope Rossecirca 1680

Cincinnati Art Museum

Cincinnati Art Museum

This miniature was painted by Susannah-Penelope Rosse around 1680. Rosse received training from her father, Richard Gibson, who was a successful miniaturist. Her marriage to a prosperous jeweler precluded any need to paint for clients, so many of her portraits were created for her family or close associates. This gives the miniature sentimental value, which is reinforced by the hair and gold foil decoration on the back. The foil wreath is made up of eight varieties of aster, which are talismans of love and referred to as the herb of Venus. Set within it are two flaming hearts. The heart has long been a symbol of love, but when it is enflamed it signifies extreme passion, suggesting that this miniature was intended for the woman’s husband or lover.

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Details

  • Title: A Lady
  • Creator: Susannah-Penelope Rosse (circa 1655–1700)
  • Date Created: circa 1680
  • Location: England
  • Physical Dimensions: 1 1/4 x 1 in. (3.2 x 2.5 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fleischmann III
  • Accession Number: 2004.512
  • Medium: watercolor and gouache on vellum (recto), hair and gold (verso)

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