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Past Exhibition

Lady Anne Carey, Later Viscountess Claneboye and Countess of Clanbrassil

oil painting of woman standing in blue dress holding green scarf

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Lady Anne Carey, Later Viscountess Claneboye and Countess of Clanbrassil, ca. 1636
Oil on canvas
83 1/2 × 50 1/4 in. (212.1 × 127.6 cm)
The Frick Collection; Henry Clay Frick Bequest

Anne Carey, later Countess of Clanbrassil, was the daughter of Henry Carey, second Earl of Monmouth, and Martha Cranfield. According to a family history, the Countess of Clanbrassil was a "very handsome and witty" woman who was "extraordinary in knowledge, virtue, and piety." This portrait was likely painted on the occasion of her engagement to James Hamilton, heir of a Scottish family that had received large land grants in Northern Ireland. Lady Anne strides to the left in an Arcadian landscape, with the boulder behind her framing a woodland vista. Van Dyck reused this backdrop in other portraits, catering to the taste of English aristocrats who sought refuge from an increasingly unstable political situation in pastoral fantasies.