Skip to main content
Portrait of a Woman as Saint Agnes
Gonzales Coques
/

A finely dressed young woman gazes assuredly out at the viewer. The distinct shape of her nose, the turn of her mouth and her faintly dimpled chin reveal that this is a portrait, though the sitter’s identity is unknown. She is shown in the guise of Saint Agnes, with the saint’s attributes of a lamb (a symbol of her chaste innocence and her Christian devotion) and a sword (the instrument of her martyrdom).

Agnes was a beautiful young girl from a wealthy Roman family, sentenced to death after spurning her suitors and pledging devotion to her Christian faith. Her condemners tried to burn her at the stake; when this failed to kill her, she was stabbed or beheaded. Agnes was patron saint of young girls and virgins, and the sitter may have shared her name.

The picture’s delicate finish and the fact it is painted on silver suggest that it was a precious object, perhaps painted for a loved one to carry with them.

Key facts
Artist Gonzales Coques
Artist dates 1614/18 - 1684
Full title Portrait of a Woman as Saint Agnes
Date made about 1680
Medium and support Oil on silver
Dimensions 18.3 x 14.4 cm
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG1011
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo