Daily Mail

Was Old Duchess... a Duke?

- By Jennifer Ruby Showbusine­ss News Editor

THIS satirical 16th century portrait inspired Sir John Tenniel’s illustrati­on of The Duchess in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

But despite being dubbed ‘The Old Duchess’ for more than 150 years, Quinten Massys’ An Old Woman could well be a man.

A new assessment of the Flemish artist’s painting, which hangs in The National Gallery, has thrown up the possibilit­y that the subject is a male transvesti­te.

‘Yes, she is most likely a he,’ Emma Capron, curator of the London venue’s new exhibition, The Ugly Duchess: Beauty and Satire in the Renaissanc­e, told The Observer. ‘A crossdress­er as a play on gender. We know that Massys was very interested in carnivals, where men would impersonat­e women.’ The painting, created about 1513, is believed to be a comment on society’s obsession with maintainin­g a youthful ideal of beauty into old age. For the exhibition, which opens on Thursday, it will be reunited with its other half in a diptych: Massys’ An Old Man.

Labour’s education spokesman Bridget Phillipson has said she is backing the Government’s urgent review of sex education.

She told the Associatio­n of School and College Leaders’ conference that teaching gender identity ideology as fact is ‘an issue of children’s well-being’ and parents should be given access to material being taught. How Drag Queens Became A Trojan Horse To Promote Militant Trans Ideology – Pages 24-25

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