George Gower, ‘Lady Philippa Coningsby’, 1578, Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

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James E. Roberts Fund

About George Gower

Though little is known of his training, George Gower became known as one of the most fashionable portraitists of his time. His subjects and clients were typically from noble classes, whom he depicted in a grandiose style with bold features and conspicuous indications of wealth. Gower favored using strong lighting and dark backgrounds to make his figures appear more dramatic. He was lauded for his precision and subtlety in rendering flesh and expression. Because of his artistic fame, Gower was appointed to the premier position of Serjeant Painter for Elizabeth I in his late career; his responsibilities included producing portraiture for the monarch, and overseeing much of the applied and decorative art in her palace.

British, 1540-1596