Head of a Woman

WAG 2797


This is a fragment cut from a larger painting. There are jewels on the woman’s headdress and there is no halo. This suggests that the image is a portrait, rather than a representation of the Virgin Mary or a saint. This is not known for certain, and it may once have been part of a religious picture. The background was fully repainted, probably after the fragment was cut. This is one of the artworks presented by the Liverpool Royal Institution. Liverpool’s economic development grew directly from Britain’s involvement with transatlantic slavery: the kidnapping, enslavement and forced migration of people from West Africa to the Americas and many to the Caribbean. Many members of the Royal Institution made their fortunes directly through the trade or indirectly through the wider economy. This wealth was largely how they were able to bring rare art and treasures, such as this, to the city.