Among the oil paintings on display at the museum, you’ll find this rather lovely example. It’s called Portrait of a Young Woman and was painted around 1630. To quote Churchill, it’s a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. When it was left to Oxford Universities in 1855 by the collector, Chambers Hall, it would have been linked to the English portrait artist, Cornelius Johnson (1593 – 1661), whose success in the early 17th Century was eventually eclipsed by Van Dyck.
Johnson was one of very few artists in England to sign and date his work, but there’s no signature on this painting. It’s now described as ‘formerly attributed to Cornelius Jonson’ and the frame is inscribed, ‘School of Cornelius Jansens’.
So, we have an unnamed young woman painted by an unknown artist in the style of an artist known by a number of different names. Who’d be an art historian? It’s still a very nice painting and just one of the beautiful works of art at the Broadway Museum and Art Gallery. Visit us soon and see for yourself. Opening times and ticket prices on our website.
Photo credit: Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford