‘The Lace Lady with Painted Lady Butterflies’
Gold and Silver Acrylic and Pen on Box Canvas. Inspired by a medieval, East Anglian memorial brass c.1484.
Framed, ready to hang and entombed behind glass. Finished size, including black card mount - 64cm x 114cm.
Oak effect frame – 4cm wide x 2cm deep. Overall depth 6cm.
I was drawn to the beauty of this memorial of Lady Margaret Peyton (1420 - 1445) of Isleham, Cambridgeshire, c. 1484. To me, it is an illustration of the fragility of life, and creates a kind of immortality.
'Remember me as you pass by
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now, you soon will be
Prepare for death and think of me'.
Although known as ‘The Lace Lady’ Lady Margaret Peyton is depicted wearing a close fitting, low-cut dress of Italian brocade with decorative edging, cuffs and a turn down collar.
On her head she is wearing a Butterfly Head Dress, which was fashionable at the time. The hair is pulled back from the forehead and gathered into nets at the back of the head and covered by a light gauze veil, over a light wire frame.
The delicate necklace is believed to be a family heirloom, although an identical necklace can be seen on the memorial to Isabel Cheney, (Norfolk 1495). This along with the outward facing hands, seen on both memorials, may indicate that they were made by the same workshop.
Commonly figures were depicted with hands stiffly clasped together in prayer, but here the hands are held apart, palms facing outward. This is a peculiar characteristic of brass memorials from East Anglia and one I was particularly drawn to.