The reserves of the National Gallery, London, house a painting identified as Mary Magdalene, by an unknown master most likely of Franco-Flemish origin. The iconographical identification of the subject derives from the small jar that she holds. A more thorough study of the piece, however, leads us to raise the hypothesis that it is actually a portrait of Isabella the Catholic, based on comparisons with other representations of this queen, as well as on the jewellery she wears. In spite of the stylistic comparisons made with contemporary works, it is difficult to establish the artist with precision. Nevertheless, we propose Michel Sittow -or someone from his artistic circle- whose activity at the service of the Spanish crown is documented precisely towards the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th century.
- Isabella the Catholic
- Michael Sittow