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William Segar's Portrait: A Noblewoman

Who is the Painted Lady? The Changing Identity of the Segar Sitter

The identity of our Tudor noblewoman has proved somewhat mysterious and she has had a number of identities over the years.  In Victorian times it was thought that she was Queen Elizabeth I. Her elaborate dress is very similar to those seen in portraits of the Virgin Queen and demonstrates that she is fashionable and wealthy. 

Visit the National Portrait Gallery website to compare our noble lady to portraits of the Queen herself.

Another famous lady linked to our Segar portrait is Bess of Hardwick Hall.  Our noblewoman was thought to bear a resemblance to other paintings but recent information relating to the dates would put Bess in mourning during this period and she would not have been portrayed wearing this elaborate gown.

The most recent identification has linked the painting to the Countess of Worcester, though no similar portrait has come to light.  Accurate identifications of sitters for portraits of this period are difficult to achieve and our noble lady still remains an enigma.