Monday, 18 March 2013
William Larkin is not a name that registers immediately as that of a famous painter - there are many who are much better known to us. But he was one of the most faithful of portraitists in the time of James I of England. Born in England sometime in the early 1580's, his life was relatively short - he died before he was 40 in 1619. But I simply love the way he adores embroidery and lace! As you can see those early Stuart dresses were a little risky. There is a story that in 1860 Ismail Pasha of Egypt had the experience of a court lady curtseying rather low before him and falling out of her corsage - to whom he said: Mais, madame, il ne faut pas perdre ces belles chose-là, comme ci, comme ça, etcetera.
But I digress - just look at this detail of the jacket with its gold work, braid stitch tendrils and bright coloured, satin stitched flowers, all sprinkled around with paillettes. And the lace of the cuff is pretty spectacular too, isn't it?
This portrait by Larkin is in Kenwood House London. Painted around 1615 it is of Lady Dorothy Cary. It would seem she is embroidered and laced to within an inch of life. I find the designs here of the jacket, skirt and cloak to be utterly magnificent
Here you can see a little more of the design - and note those extravagantly expensive double lace cuffs.
Posted by N E E D L E P R I N T at 17:46