Sinope, Queen of Armenia – Portrait by Lambert Barnard, 1526

Sinope, Queen of ArmeniaThis panel depicting Armenian Queen Sinope is one of the eight surviving panels, a part of the decorative scheme of the Amberley Castle, the onetime residence of Chichester bishops. The panel created by Lambert Barnard in ca. 1526 is now showcased in Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, UK.

The collection of Amberley panels is comprised of allegorical portraits of women with gentle smiles which bring Mona Lisa to mind. The panels tell us the quite popular stories of nine virtuous ladies. These women have been remarkable for their dignity and courage they have demonstrated in the face of danger.

The heroines wear 1500s-specific heavy golden necklaces as well as gowns of either red velvet or black and gold woven damask. Each of the heroines wields a weapon, her symbol, or a heraldic shield.

The Amberley collection now includes 8 extant panels. Each of the panels is made from oak wood and measures 155 by 86 centimeters. Successfully recovered in 1864, these works of Lambert Barnard are rare examples of English provincial art of the 16th century.

Painted by Barnard in a mixture of oil and egg tempera, these panels have been created to form the decorative scheme of the Amberley Castle. The panels have been commissioned by Robert Sherborne, the Bishop of Chichester at the time. Sherborne thought that the panels would mark the visit of Henry VIII of England in 1526.

(c) Pallant House Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

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