Karen Hearn presents “Big-Bellied Women: Portraying Pregnancy in 16th– and 17th-Century England”

Karen Hearn, former curator at the Tate Britain and a world-renowned expert on British portraiture currently teaching at University College London, reflects on images of pregnant women from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She contends that many images did, contrary to previous thought, portray women as overtly pregnant and for a variety of motivations

With ASL interpretation


The study of portraiture and pregnancy together offers a fresh lens through which to look at history and at art history. It encourages us to rethink the context in which many past portraits were made, as well as the life experiences of women sitters.

This program is made possible through the generous support of Bader Philanthropies, Inc. Agnes is pleased to partner with the Queen’s Lecture Series to host the Isabel and Alfred Bader Lecture in European Art.

Image: Anthony van Dyck, Queen Henrietta Maria (detail), 1636, oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bequest of Mrs Charles Wrightsman in honor of Annette de la Renta, 2019
Image Credits

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