The clasped hands which are embroidered on the sitter’s bodice, and which also appear on one of the necklaces she wears, may indicate that this portrait was painted to commemorate her engagement. Princess Emilia married the Margrave of Ansbach, another German princedom, in 1532, when she was sixteen.


  • Title: Portrait of Princess Emilia of Saxony
  • Creator: Hans Krell
  • Date Created: About 1532
  • tag / style: Hans Krell; German portraiture; engagement; marriage; bodice; headdress, high society; ribbons; feathers; necklace; Princess; Emilia of Saxony; embroidery
  • Physical Dimensions: w1031.6 x h1271.6 cm (Without frame)
  • Artwork History: Formerly owned by William Roscoe. Roscoe (1753-1831) was a successful Liverpool lawyer and Radical politician, who campaigned against the slave trade, and whose interests included history, poetry, botany, languages and art. Remarkably, he was, on the whole, a self-educated man. To find out more about Roscoe, please follow this link: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/online/collectors/williamroscoe.asp
  • Artist biographical information: Hans Krell (1490-1565), to whom this picture is attributed, was never as famous as his great contemporary Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553). During his lifetime, however, he too enjoyed considerable patronage in both Bohemia and Germany. His ability to adapt his style to the dominant fashions in portraiture may have been advantageous.
  • Additional artwork information: William Roscoe, former owner, believed that this was a portrait by the leading German artist Lucas Cranach (1472-1553) of his wife. There is an old inscription in Latin on the back of the painting stating this, but naming the wife wrongly. The portrait was identified as Princess Emilia in 1958. The inscription was probably already there when Roscoe bought it in 1812 from his fellow Liverpool collector and Unitarian John Ashton Yates (1782-1863). It also states that the portrait was consecrated to her eternal memory. Such sentiments would have appealed to Roscoe. When away in London he would date his letters by the number of days he had been parted from his wife.
  • Type: Oil on wood panel
  • Rights: presented by Liverpool Royal Institution in 1948

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