Portrait of Isabella of Portugal

Object Details


Portrait of Isabella of Portugal


Workshop of Rogier van der Weyden (Netherlandish, 1399/1400 - 1464)




Netherlands, Europe (Place created)


about 1450


Oil on panel


46 × 37.1 cm (18 1/8 × 14 5/8 in.)

See more

See less

Seated with her hands crossed in her lap, Isabella of Portugal, the duchess of Burgundy, conveys the poise and confidence of her noble position. Her sumptuous attire, heavily woven with gold thread, and her jeweled fingers and headdress reflect her aristocratic status. Oddly, the artist did not match the patterns of the sleeves, as would have been customary during this period.

In fact, the duchess never actually sat for this portrait, which may account for the misunderstood representation of her clothing. Scholars believe that the artist copied Isabella's likeness from a lost portrait by Rogier van der Weyden. The tender, slightly mocking expression on the duchess's face and the elongated fingers reflect van der Weyden's concept of portraiture.

The prominent inscription in the upper left corner of the panel, PERSICA SIBYLLA IA, suggests that the portrait was part of a series depicting sibyls. This identity strikingly contrasts with Duchess Isabella's costume. Scholars believe that someone other than the original artist added the inscription, as well as the brown background meant to simulate wood, some time after the portrait was painted.

before 1629

Possibly Alexandre d'Arenberg, duke of Croy and prince of Chimay, 1590 - 1629
Source: Lorne Campbell (1998) advances this hypothesis in his discussion of the National Gallery, London's S. Ivo.

- 1883

Christianus Johannes Nieuwenhuys (Brussels, Belgium; London, England) [sold, Nieuwenhuys sale, Saint-Luc, Brussels, May 4, 1883, lot 4.]

by 1898 - 1900

Baron Adolphe (Carl) de Rothschild, Austrian, 1823 - 1900 (Naples, Italy; Paris, France), by inheritance to Baron Maurice (Edmond Charles) de Rothschild, 1900.

1900 - by 1927

Baron Maurice (Edmond Charles) de Rothschild, Austrian, 1881 - 1957 (Paris, France)

by 1927 - 1948

John D. Rockefeller, Jr., American, 1874 - 1960, owned jointly with his second wife, Martha Baird Rockefeller, upon their marriage, 1948.

1948 - 1960

John D. Rockefeller, Jr., American, 1874 - 1960

1948 - 1971

and Martha Baird Rockefeller, American, 1895 - 1971 (New York, New York), upon his death, retained by his second wife, Martha Baird Rockefeller; by inheritance to Abigail Rockefeller Milton Pardee Mauzé, daughter of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and his first wife Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1971.

1971 - 1976

Abigail Rockefeller Milton Pardee Mauzé, 1903 - 1976, upon her death, held in trust by the estate.

1976 - by 1977

Estate of Abigail Rockefeller Milton Pardee Mauzé, 1903 - 1976, consigned to Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London, England), by 1977.

by 1977 - 1978

Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978.

Flemish and Belgian Art (1927)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), 1927
Loan Exhibition of Flemish Primitives (October to November 1929) ([as Roger van der Weyden, Portrait of a Lady of High Rank, coll. John D. Rockefeller])
  • Kleinberger Galleries (Paris), October 1, 1929 to November 1, 2029
Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition (Great Lakes Exposition) (June 26 to October 4, 1936)
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland), June 26 to October 4, 1936
Masterpieces of Art (European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300-1800) (May to October, 1939)
  • New York World's Fair (Queens), May to October 1939
Flemish Primitives (April 13 to May 9, 1942)
  • Knoedler & Company (New York), April 13 to May 9, 1942
Rogier van der Weyden - Rogier de le Pasture (October 6 to November 18, 1979) (entry by L. Campbell)
  • Musée Communal de Bruxelles, Maison du Roi (Brussels), October 6 to November 18, 1979
Rogier van der Weyden: 600th Anniversary of His Birth (March 18 to July 4, 1999)
  • The National Gallery (London), March 18 to July 4, 1999
Birth of Modern Painting (November 21, 2008 to June 21, 2009)
  • Staedel Institute (Frankfurt am Main), November 21, 2008 to March 1, 2009
  • Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin), March 20 to June 21, 2009
Rogier van der Weyden, ca. 1400-1464 - Master of Passions (September 18 to December 6, 2009)
  • Stedelijk Museum Vander Kelen-Mertens (Leuven), September 18 to December 6, 2009
Face to Face: Flanders, Florence, and Renaissance (September 28, 2013 to January 13, 2014)
  • Huntington Art Collections (San Marino), September 28, 2013 to January 13, 2014
Van der Weyden and Spain (March 24 to June 28, 2015)
  • Museo del Prado (Madrid), March 24 to June 28, 2015

"Mouvement des Arts, Collections Nieuwenhuys." La Chronique des Arts et de la Curiosité. (1883), no. 19, 150.

(Emonnier), L. "Correspondance de Belgique." La Chronique des Art et de la Curiosité. (1885), no. 20, 158.

Friedländer, Max J. "Malerei. Niederländer und Deutsche." Ausstellung von Kunstwerken des Mittlalters und der Renaissance aus Berliner Privatbesitz. (Stet: 1898-1899), p. 7.

Friedländer, Max. J. Werk ünd die Renaissance-Ausstellung. (Berlin: 1898-99), p. 7.

Hymans, Henri. "Correspondance de Belgique." Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 3e per., XXIII. (1900), p. 246.

Laban, Ferdinand. "Ein neuer Roger." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, n.s. XIX. (1908), p. 58, ill. p. 62.

Maeterlinck, L. "Le 'Maître de Flémalle' et l'école gantoise primitive." Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 4e per., X. (1913), p. 58.

Winkler, Friedrich Maeterlinck. Der Meister von Flémalle und Rogier van der Weyden. Ph. D. dissertation. (Strassburg: 1913), pp. 53, 54, 107, 174.

Friedländer, Max. Von Eyck bis Brueghel. (Berlin: 1916), p. 175.

Reinach, Salomon. Répertoire de peintures du Moyen-Age et de la Renaissance (1280-1580). 6 vols. (Paris: Ernest Leroux, éditeur, 1905-1923), vol. 4 (1918), p. 184.

Devigne, M. "Une collection d'oeuvres d'art à Tournai au commencement du XVIIe siècle,". Annales de XXIV congrés. (Federation archéologique et historique de Belgique, Tournai: 1921), p. 344, note 1.

de Ricci, Seymour, and Martin Conway. "A Flemish Triptych for Melbourne," part II. Burlington Magazine, vol. XL. (April 1922), p. 166, ill. pl. III-P.

Bürger, Willy. Rogier van der Weyden. (Leipzig: 1923), p. 70, pl. 50b.

Friedländer, Max J. Die altniederländische Malerei. Vol. 2, Rogier van der Weyden und der Meister von Flémalle (Berlin: P. Cassirer, 1924), pp. 41, 95, no. 13.

Reinach, Salomon. "Rogier van der Weyden and the Maître de Flémalle." The Burlington Magazine, XLVIII (1925), p. 112.

Stein, W. "Die Bildnisse von Rogier van der Weyden." Jahrbuch der preuszischen Kunstsammlungen, vol. 47. (1926), pp. 10-13, ill. p. 12, abb. 4.

Demonts, Louis. "L'exposition d'art flammand à la Royal Academy de Londres." Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 53 per., XV. (1927), p. 257-78.

Devigne, M. "Notes sur l'exposition d'art flamand et belge à Londres." Oud Holland, vol. 44. (1927), pp. 72-74, ill. p. 73.

Schneider, Hans. "Die Ausstellung flämische und belgischer Kunst in London." Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst, LXI. (1927), p. 40.

Jamot, P. "Rogier van der Weyden et le prétendu Maîtres de Flemalle." Gazette des Beaux-Arts, ser. 5, vol. 18. (1928), pp. 276-77, ill. (btw. pp. 280-81).

Destrée, Jules. Rogier de la Pasture-van der Weyden. (Paris and Brussels: 1930), vol. 1, p. 181.

Apollo, vol. 14, no. 82. (October 1931), p. 184 (ill. only).

Reis-Santos, L. "Un Portrait d'Isabelle de Portugal, Duchesse de Bourgogne, daté de 1470." Revue belge d'archéologie et d'histoire de l'art, 5. (1935), pp. 135-37.

Troche, E.G. Niederländische Malerei des Fünfzehnten und Sechszehnten Jahunderts. (Berlin: 1935), p. 32.

Kerber, Ottmar. Rogier van der Weyden und die Anfänge der neuzeitlichen Tafelmalerei, Inaugural Dissertation. (Kallmünz: 1936), pp. 34-41, 105.

Sipple, Ella S. "Art in America. Exhibitions Past, Present and Promised." The Burlington Magazine, LXIX (1936), p. 92.

de Loo, G. Hulin. "Weyden (Rogier de la Pasture, alias Van der)." Biographie Nationale, vol. 27. (Brussels: 1938), col. 240-41.

Comstock, Helen. "The New York World's Fair: Loan Exhibition of Masterpieces." Connoisseur 103 (June 1939), p. 318.

McCall, George Henry. Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300-1800, exh. cat. William R. Valentiner, ed. (New York: World's Fair, 1939), p. 201, no. 410, pl. 48.

van Puyvelde, L. "De Reis Jan van Eyck naar Portugal." Koninklijke Vlaamsche academie voor taal en letterkunde. (January 1940), p. 27.

Wescher, Paul. "Das Höfische Bildnis von Philipp dem Guten bis zu Karl V.". Pantheon, XXVIII. (1941), p. 196.

Michel, Edouard. L'école flamande du XVe siècle au Musée du Louvre. (Brussels: 1944), p. 78.

Musper, T. Utersuchungen zu Rogier van der Weyden und Jan van Eyck. (Stuttgart: 1948), p. 25, fig. 89.

Beenken, Herman. Rogier van der Weyden. (Munich: 1951), pp. 74-75, abb. 93.

Cortez, J. "Infantes de Avis, II. D. Isabel duquesa de Borgohnam." Belas Artes, ser. 2, no. 5. (1953), pp. 41-42, fig. 1.

Santos, R. Dos. "Retratos do sécolo XV." Belas Artes, ser. 2, no. 5. (1953), pp. 34-35.

Panofsky, Erwin. Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character. 2 vols. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1953), vol. 1, pp. 293-94; vol. 2, fig. 363.

Riuval, Maria Julieta. "Estudos Iconograficos. D. Isabel, Duquesa de Borgonha filha de D. Joao I de Portugal." Belas Artes, 2nd ser., vol. 20. (1963), pp. 92-95, 103-105.

Feder, Theodor H. "A Reexamination through Documents of the First Fifty Years of Roger van der Weyden's Life." The Art Bulletin, XLVIII. (1966), pp. 416-31.

Bauch, Kurt. "Die Bildnisse von Jan van Eyck." Studien zur Kunstgeschichte. (Berlin: 1967), p. 89.

Friedländer, Max J. Early Netherlandish Painting. Vol. 2, Rogier van der Weyden and the Master of Flémalle. Heinz Norden, trans. (Leyden: Sijthoff, 1967), vol. 2, pp. 26, 62, no. 13, pl. 22, index p. 111.

Anonieme Vlaamse Primitieven, exh. cat. (Groeningemuseum, Bruges: 1969), p. 240.

Sonkes, Micheline. "Dessins du XVe siècle: Groupe Van der Weyden. Essai de catalogue...". Les Primitifs flamands, series 3, vol. 5. (1969), pp. 111, 112.

Davies, Martin. "Rogier van der Weyden's 'S. Ivo(?)'." The Burlington Magazine, CXIII (1971), p. 178.

Hoff, U., and M. Davies. Corpus Primitifs Flamands: The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. (1971), pp. 4, 18 (10).

Sterling, C. "Observations on Petris Christus." Art Bulletin, vol. 53. (1971), p. 18, note 67.

Davies, Martin. Rogier van der Weyden: An Essay, with a Critical Catalogue of Paintings Assigned to Him and to Robert Campin (London: Phaidon, 1972), pp. 230-31, pl. 98.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Catalogue of the Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972), p. 60.

Ruival, M. "The 'Portrait of a Lady' in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and its Connection with the 'Portrait of D. Joao 1' in the National Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon." Belas Artes, ser. 2, no. 27. (1972), pp. 112, 113, 114, 116, fig. 2.

Hoffman, Edith Warren. "Simon Marimon or the Master of the Altarpiece of Saint-Bertin: A Problem of Attribution." Scriptorium, XXVII, no. 2. (1973), pp. 263-90.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed., Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), p. 72, ill.

Rogier van der Weyden, Peintre officiel de la Ville de Bruxelles. Portraitis de la Cour de Bourgogne, exh. cat. (Brussels: October 18-November 1979), pp. 151-52, no. 14.

Strachwitz, A.G. "Brüssels offizieller Stadtmaler." Weltkunst, vol. 49. (December 1979), p. 3149.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1980), unpaginated, no. 23, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 5th ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1980), p. 60.

Smith, Alistar. "Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions." Burlington Magazine, vol. 122 (January 1980), p. 91.

de Bisthoven, Aquilin, Margriet Baise Dondeyne, and Dirk de Vos Stedelijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Groeningemuseum) Burgge, (De Vlaamse Primitieven, I. Corpus van de vijftiende-eeuwse schilderkunst in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden, 1), 2nd ed. (Brussels: 1981), pp. 87, 93.

O'Meara, Carra Ferguson. "Isabelle of Portugal as the Virigin in Jan van Eyck's Washington Annunciation." Gazette des Beaux-Arts. (March 1981), pp. 99, 101, fig. 4.

Friedman, Jane. "A New Look at the Imagery of Isabelle of Portugal." Source, vol. 1, no. 4. (Summer 1982), pp. 11, 12, n. 9.

Jolly, Penny Howell. "Antonello da Messina's 'St. Jerone in His Study': A Disquised Portrait?" The Burlington Magazine, CXXIV (1982), p. 29, n. 8.

Fletcher, John. "The Study of Early Paintings on Flemish Panels." Jaarboek van het Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen (1984), pp. 16, 18-19.

Harbison, Craig. "Visions and meditations in early Flemish paintings." Simiolus. Netherlands Quarterly for the History of Art. (1985), p. 94, n. 21.

Janssonius, Mart. Isabella van Portugal Moeder van Karel de Stoute. (Zutphen: 1985), reproduced opposite title page.

Prevenier, Walter, and Wim Blockmans. The Burgundian Netherlands, trans. of Antwerp 1983 ed. by Peter King and Yvette Mead. (Antwerp: 1985), pp. 146-47, repr.

Comblen-Sonkes, Micheline, and Nicole Veronee-Verhaegen. Le Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. (Brussels: 1986), vol. 1, p. 8.

Delenda, Odile. Rogier van der Weyden. (Paris: 1987), pp. 10-11.

Dixon, Laurinda S. "Portraits and Politics in Two Triptychs by Roger van der Weyden." Gazette des Beaux-Arts. (June 1987), p. 187, fig. 7, p. 188.

Jolly, Penny Howell. "More on the Van Eyck Question: Philip the Good of Burgundy, Isabelle of Portugal, and the Ghent Altarpiece." Oud Holland, 101. (1987), p. 243, fig. 9, and no. 19.

Weightman, Christine. Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy, 1446-1503. (Gloucester, England and New York: 1989), p. 50, ill.

Lamcastre, Mariade, and Teresa Abecassis, eds. Des Princesses partent, D'autres arrivent: Isabelle de Portugal, du Palais de Sintra audché de Bourgogue. (Lisbon: 1991), p. 67, ill. cover.

Lemaire, Claudine, and Michéle Henry. Isabelle de Portugal: Duchese de Bourgogue, 1397-1471. (Brussels: 1991), pp. 148-49, no. 39; ill. cover.

Ainsworth, Maryan Wynn, et al. Les Primitifs Flamands et leur Temps. (Louvian-la-Neuve, Belgium: 1994), p. 221, ill.

Kenyon, Kathleen Louise. Portrait Painting in the Time of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, 1419-67, M.A. Thesis. (San Jose State University: December 1996), pp. 58-59, 97.

Campbell, Lorne. "Rogier van der Weyden." In The Dictionary of Art, vol. 33. (New York: 1996).

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 135, ill.

Franke, Birgit. "'Huisvrouw', Ratgebern und Regentin." Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen. (Berlin: 1997).

Campbell, Lorne. National Gallery Catalogues: The Fifteenth Century Netherlandish Schools (London: National Gallery Publications Limited, 1998), pp. 434, 437-38, ill.

Somme, Monique. Isabelle de Portugal, Duchesse de Bourgogne: Une femme au pouvoir au Xve siècle. (Paris: 1998).

Kemperdick, Stephan. Masters of Netherlandish Art: der Weyden. (Cologne: 1999), p. 58.

de Vos, Dirk. Rogier van der Weyden: The Complete Works. (Antwerp: 1999), cat. no. B14.

Châtelet, Albert. Rogier van der Weyden : Problèmes de la vie et de l'oeuvre (Strasbourg: Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, 1999), pp. 220-21.

Kuijer, P.Th.J. 's-Hertogenbosch. Stad in het Hertogdom Brabant ca. 1185-1629. (Zwolle: 2000), p. 121, color ill.

Buck, Stephanie. Die niederländischen Zeichnungen des 15. Jahrhunderts im Berliner Kupferstichkabinett. Kritischer Katalog. (Turnhout: 2001), 270, ill.

Campbell, Lorne and Yvonne Szafran. "The portrait of Isabella of Portugal, Duchess of Burgundy, in the J. Paul Getty Museum." The Burlington Magazine (London, December: 2004), vol. CXLVI, no. 1212, pp. 148-57.

Berkemeier-Favre, Marie-Claire. Die Votivtafel der Herzogin Isabella von Burgund (Basel: Historisches Museum, 2004), pp. 18-19, pp. 18-19.

Campbell, Lorne. "More on Philippe de Croÿ and Jean de Froimont." The Burlington Magazine 147, no. CXLVII (February 2005), pp. 108-9.

Kemperdick, Stephan, and Jochen Sander, eds. The Master of Flémalle and Rogier van der Weyden, exh. cat. (Frankfurt: Städel Museum; Berlin: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen, 2009), pp. 364-67, no. 40, ill., entry by Jochen Sander.

Kemperdick, Stephan, and Jochen Sander. "The Master of Flémalle, Robert Campin, and Rogier van der Weyden: A Résumé." In The Master of Flémalle and Rogier van der Weyden, exh. cat. (Frankfurt: Städel Museum; Berlin: Gemäldegalerie, 2009), p. 159.

Klein, Peter. "Dendrochronological Analysis of Panel Paintings Belonging to the Master of Flémalle and Rogier van der Weyden Groups." In The Master of Flémalle and Rogier van der Weyden, exh. cat. (Frankfurt: Städel Museum, 2009), p. 166.

Bonaventura, Paul. "Transcendental Reality." Apollo (March 2009), pp. 136-37, fig. 4.

Campbell, Lorne, and Jan Van der Stock. Rogier van der Weyden, 1400/1464-Master of Passions, exh. cat. (Leuven: M, with Waanders & Davidsfonds, 2009), pp. 297-99, no. 15, ill., entry by Lorne Campbell.

Scott, Margaret. "Dress and Reality in Rogier van der Weyden." In Rogier van der Weyden, 1400/1464-Master of Passions, exh. cat. (Leuven: M, with Waanders & Davidsfonds, 2009), p. 138.

Sommé, Monique. "La correspondance d'Isabelle de Portugal, reflet du pouvoir d'une duchesse de Bourgogne au XVe siècle." In Women at the Burgundian Court: Presence and Influence. Dagmar Eichberger et al., eds. (Turnhout: Brepols, 2010), pp. 27, 164, pl. 7.

Woods, Kim W. "Art at Court." In Art & Visual Culture, 1100-1600: Medieval to Renaissance. Kim W. Woods, ed. (London: Tate Publishing, with The Open University, 2012), p. 180, pl. 5.6.

Woollett, Anne T. "Foreword: Early Netherlandish Painting in the Getty Collection." In Los Angeles Museums. Diane Wolfthal and Cathy Metzger. Vol. 22, Corpus of Early Netherlandish Painting (Brussels: Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, 2014), p. 7.

Wolfthal, Diane, and Cathy Metzger. Los Angeles Museums. Vol. 22, Corpus of Early Netherlandish Painting (Brussels: Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, 2014), pp. 190-205.

Campbell, Lorne, ed. Rogier van der Weyden and the Kindoms of the Iberian Peninsula, exh. cat. (Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado, 2015), pp. 112-14, no. 7, ill., entry by Lorne Campbell.

Campbell, Lorne. "Rogier van der Weyden: his Life and Work." In Rogier van der Weyden and the Kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula, exh. cat. Lorne Campbell, ed. (Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado, 2015), p. 23.

Kemperdick, Stephen. Review of Corpus of Early Netherlandish Painting: Los Angeles Museums, by Diane Wolfthal and Cathy Metzger. The Burlington Magazine 159, no. 1373 (August 2017), pp.640-41, ill.