The J. Paul Getty Museum

Portrait of Barbara Kressin

Object Details


Portrait of Barbara Kressin


Unknown maker, Netherlandish Master, active Germany




Germany (Place Created)




Oil on canvas

Object Number:



110.5 × 96.5 cm (43 1/2 × 38 in.)

See more

See less

Object Description

An inscription in the upper right corner identifies the elegant young woman seen in three-quarter view as Barbara Kressin, aged seventeen, and the date of the likeness as 1544.

Barbara’s sober and subtly ornamented black gown serves as a magnificent foil for accoutrements which convey her wealth and social standing: the embroidered collar, blackwork cuffs, heavy gold chain, and the long gold girdle around her waist. The soft leather gloves she gently clasps, decorated with flowers may, along with the rings on her forefinger and the girdle, refer to her marriage. While Barbara Kressin has been associated with the Nuremberg family of the same name, her identity cannot be confirmed. The naturalism of the sitter’s face and hands, together with the close attention to the details of costume, suggest the as-yet unidentified artist hails from the Netherlands.

by 1894 - 1895

Henry Doetsch (London, England) [sold, Doetsch sale, Christie's, London, June 24, 1895, lot 241, to T. Murray.]

1895 -

Harry Quilter, 1851 - 1907 (London, England)

- 1970

Francis S. MacNalty [sold, MacNalty sale, Christie's, London, June 26, 1970, lot 83, to Leone Cei & Sons.]


Leone Cei & Sons (Florence, Italy), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1970.


Berenson, Bernard. Venetian Painters of the Renaissance (London: 1894), p. 111.

Venturi, Adolfo. Storia dell'arte italiana. Vol. 9, La pittura del Cinquecento, parte III (Milan: Ulrico Hoepli, 1928), pt. 3, p. 481.

Arslan, Eduardo. "Thieme-Becker." Künstler-Lexikon, vol. 22. (Leipzig: 1929), p. 193.

Berenson, Bernard. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: A List of the Principal Artists and Their Works with an Index of Places: Venetian School. 2 vols. (London: Phaidon Press, 1957), vol. 1, p. 97.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Catalogue of the Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972), p. 33, no. 33.

Fredericksen, Burton B., ed. The J. Paul Getty Museum: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Western European Paintings, French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth Century (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), p. 88, ill.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 123, ill.