George Gower: Portrait of Lady Philippa Coningsby (1578)

(Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, USA)

A portrait made by the British artist George Gower (1530-1596). The woman on this painting is Lady Philippa Coningsby (born as Fitzwilliam, 1530-1596), daughter of Sir William Fitzwilliam II and en Lady Anne Fitzwilliam (born as Sidney). She married with Sir Thomas Coningsby (1550-1625) , Sheriff of Herefordshire and Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Hereford, with whom she got 11 children. The cherry which Philippa is holding in her left hand is a symbol of transience. Her personal motto in the left corner reads (in French): "Les plaisirs sont mortels, mais les honneurs son pardurables" = "Pleasure dies but honor endures.". Painting from 1578.