Lady Elizabeth Thimbelby and her Sister

Lady Thimbelby and Viscountess Andover were the daughters of Thomas, Viscount Savage. Elizabeth, standing on the left, married in 1634, while Dorothy wed in 1637.

The messenger angel offers roses to Dorothy, which suggests it is her marriage that is being celebrated. Fittingly, the flowers are an attribute of Saint Dorothy, her namesake. The marriage was a love match, as Dorothy eloped with Charles Howard before she married him.

However much biographical information is read into this image, Van Dyck has produced a complex and animated composition that enlivens traditional portrait conventions of the time.

Key facts

Artist dates
1599 - 1641
Full title
Lady Elizabeth Thimbelby and Dorothy, Viscountess Andover
Date made
about 1637
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
132.1 x 149 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1977
Inventory number
Location in Gallery