Monday, 14 July 2014

The Long Wait

The Long Wait
Oil on canvas

Created as part of The Lace Trail
Bp Travel Award 2013

This painting is not hanging at the National Portrait Gallery (space was limited) but will hopefully be included when the BP Portrait Award 2014 goes on tour to Sunderland and Edinburgh.

The 21st century pregnant model is wearing a taffeta silk skirt set with pearls. The design of the pearl skirt has been taken from a portrait by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger of an uknown pregnant lady which hangs in the Tate Gallery. I have tried to create connections between a modern 21st century pregnant woman and a woman in the same state from 400 years ago. Much has changed since Tudor times, but the wonder of new life will probably never cease to amaze.

Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, portrait of unknown Woman,
©Tate Gallery, London, 1595.
The background design was inspired by the ‘Anne Boleyn Canopy’ (a lace ‘sheet’ or blanket) which is said to have been used for the christening of Elizabeth I and worked on by Anne Boleyn. It is kept at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire (although I question the dating of the lace canopy I still included it in my painting, as it has associations of pregnancy and motherhood. See my book ’The Lace Trail for the discussion of the dating).
The creation of the skirt - see for the how and what my book The Lace Trail

The 'Anne Boleyn Canopy’, lace canopy held at Sudeley Castle.
Probably dating from 19th century.
For an organised list of ALL blog posts that I wrote during the BP Travel Award project (2 years), please see this page on my blog!


  1. Another amazing piece by you Sophie, and too bad still that it was not able to be encompassed at the main venue. Did you create the skirt single-handedly? It's an amazing piece of work too, made more special if you sewed it too, as I know you worked on the neck ruffle several times to get it right too. Great job either way, and congratulations again on all of your fine work in the show on your year-long project. :-)

  2. Hi Mona, thank you for your lovely comment. Yes, I sewed the skirt and all the costumes for these paintings. It was such good fun! So glad you like it. Thanks again, Sophie


Hi, Please leave any comments here. Thanks, Sophie.


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