Lady Agnes Douglas, Countess of Argyll, about 1574 - 1607. Wife of the 7th Earl of Argyll (1599)

About this artwork

Lady Agnes and her six sisters, daughters of the 6th Earl of Morton, were known as 'the seven pearls of Lochleven', on account of their beauty. She was twenty-five when this portrait was painted and had been married for seven years to the Earl of Argyll, a powerful soldier and statesman. Her black dress is plain, but sets off the fine lace and massive quantities of gold, pearl and diamond jewellery. There is a particularly fine pendant pinned to her lace collar, and another on her red hair, which is swept up and padded into a heart-shaped halo.

Adrian Vanson

Adrian Vanson

Of Flemish origins, Vanson worked in Edinburgh as a court painter from 1584. He was one of a number of French and Netherlandish artists, craftsmen and merchants living in the city. Vanson produced many portraits of members of the court; in 1585 Vanson was admitted as burgess of Edinburgh for his services to the city. He was the father of the artist Adam de Colone.

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