JACKSON, Gilbert
(active 1621-1640)

Portrait of Jane, Countess of Winchester

Oil on canvas, 127 x 91 cm
Private collection

This signed and dated painting represents the three-quarter length portrait of Jane, née Savage, Countess of Winchester (1606-1631) wearing a red embroidered décolleté dress, standing by a green-upholstered chair decorated with gold stitching. She was a noted court beauty, and her passing was noted in verses by Milton and Jonson. The present painting was commissioned to mark her demise, and finished the year after her death.

Jackson's art is purely English, and little influenced by the arrival in England of such painters as Paul van Somer, Daniel Mytens or Anthony van Dyck. His work looks back to the flat hieratic style of the late Elizabethan Court, and he devotes infinite care to the rendition of surfaces, colours and textures whilst seeming to be indifferent to the niceties of perspective.