Portrait of Anna de Bergh, Marquise de Veere

Maker and role
Artist: Jan Gossaert (called Mabuse), Flemish, 1478-1532
ca. 1530
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Object detail

Oil on panel
16 1/2 x 13in (41.9 x 33cm)
Credit line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Frederic G. Oppenheimer
Accession number
Object type
Further information
Rubies, pearls, and gold in this portrait, as well as the sable and ermine furs around the neck and on the sleeves, reveal the wealth and privilege the sitter enjoyed. An heiress born into an aristocratic family in what is now the Netherlands, Anna de Bergh (1492-1541) married Adolph of Burgundy, whose family was linked to the ruling house of the Burgundian region in France, and had seven children.

Anna’s prominence no doubt contributed to the existence of several known copies of this painting, notably at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Most Renaissance portraits were made for the sitters’ family and friends. When exchanged among family and associates, they reinforced alliances. In many cases, collections of ancestral portraits validated the family’s antiquity. Another painting by Gossaert, Virgin and Child (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), depicts Anna and her son Hendric in a presentation representing the Virgin as the model of feminine virtue.

While Anna’s indirect gaze and pose are typical of women’s portraits, the three-quarter view of the figure is a clear departure from earlier profiles and is a direct influence of the scholarly endeavors promoted by Adolph’s great uncle, Philip of Burgundy, also an employer of Gossaert.
Subject period


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