The Countess of Shrewsbury’s Cats at Hardwick

The Countess of Shrewsbury’s Cats at Hardwick

49cm x 43 cm. Acrylics with collage elements. Framed, with glass*

Hardwick Hall is a striking Elizabethan house in North Derbyshire, built by the redoubtable Elizabeth Cavendish. After four husbands – the last old, vindictive and gouty – she must have been pleased as punch to outlive them all and inherit a fortune. Her portrait shows her dressed all in black – not just a widow’s colour, but the most expensive of all dyes in Tudor times. I don’t know if the “Costly Countess” actually had any cats, but if so, they would have to be black. And maybe with gold chain collars for a bit of nouveau riche ‘bling.’