Katheryn of Berain with Catherine The Great (Me)!

Popped into National Museum Cardiff yesterday. It was near closing time so didn’t get much of a chance to look around.

Sneaked in a selfie shot of one of my favourite paintings there: Katheryn of Berain. She was a wealthy heiress of Royal Descent and went on to get married four times to men very established men!

Me and Katheryn of Berain

You’ll notice many portraits of Royals and Aristocrats wearing black in the 16th century. Combined with their often solemn faces on the portraits one may assume the painting displayed bereavement or tragedy. In reality black was the dye hardest to create for garments and most expensive dye to use and smiling was regarded as a foolish expression! Consequently black clothes were worn to display wealth and luxury…Some things never change. This painting is a modern day equivalent of an instagram pic of a Jet Set Babe donning her crocodile Hermès in Monte Carlo.

This oil painting was produced in 1568 by Dutch painter: Adriaen van Cronenburgh. Back then a painting would take a whole year to dry!!!