Dude on the right is Don Diego de Guevara, a magnate in the Court of Burgundy in the late 1400s who ended his career as Chamberlain to Carlos V, the Holy Roman Emperor who made lithping a Cathtillian linguistic convention [prev]. Don Diego was a great collector of Art and this portrait was painted by Master Michel Sittow aka Melchior Alemán aka Mychel Flamenco (although he was just passing through Germany and Flanders having been born in Estonia). Sittow was a court painter and friend of Don Diego. Actually, "we" are not completely certain that the DC art is the same piece as one painted 503 (!) years ago in Burgundy. We require the labour of Art Historians to work that out by tracking fragmentary records through testaments, bills of sale and inventories scattered through the libraries, palaces and stately homes of Europe.
bigger pic] b) the carpet on the plinth in each picture has the same design! It's like one of those spot-the-difference puzzles you get in the Kid's Section of the Sunday papers: the divil is in the detail. Who she? History is not written by, for or about women, but she is surely a real woman painted from life rather than an idealised version of femininity. The dates are right that it could (even) be Katherine of Aragon the future wife of England's Henry VIII. If that's the case, the child is defo not hers, but presumably borrowed from one of the women downstairs. The bird clutched by the boy is claimed to be a goldfinch Carduelis carduelis but I don't buy it. Certainly not a male goldfinch, they are really distinctive and have a black cap. In my experience, this week, with my own eyes, goldfinches eat the seeds of dandelions. They swallow the seed and the fluffy bits fall out the side of the mouth. Later in the season they switch to thistle-down and so there is a metaphorical association of the bird with the Crown of Thorns. My twitcher pals Dave and Des have scotched the goldfinch ID. "maybe a siskin? Carduelis Spinus" Paintings are often richly allegorical: full of puzzles put there to add meaning . . . and pose a challenge to the artist's pals and patrons? Art historians love fossicking through this sort of stuff to identify sitters from the heraldic paraphernalia that clutters the corners of the picture.