The portrait depicts the powerful matriarch Lady Mary Neville and her son Gregory Fiennes, tenth Baron Dacre who were important members of the English nobility with close links to the court.

The exquisite depiction of detail on the costume and the characterisation of their facial features would have deeply impressed contemporary English audiences and native painters. The painting is an early example of a portrait being used as a visual memorial of family fortunes. Mary's husband, Thomas 9th Baron Dacre was executed in 1541 during the reign of Henry VIII. This portrait was almost certainly commissioned by Lady Dacre to commemorate the family's later return to the ranks of the nobility.


Mr Collevous, London sale, 1727 as by Holbein; Earl of Oxford sale, 1741; Horace Walpole as by de Heere; private collection, 1842; by descent.

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