Who Is The Lady In Red?

On 12 December 2021, the curators of the National Art Gallery and conservation expert Jennifer Myers made a curious discovery.

Behind what was thought to be the portrait frame of Ananda Samarakoon, who famously composed the national anthem, was a mystery painting, hidden for over 90 years. 

The curators believe that the ‘Lady In Red’, painted by Mudaliyar A C G S Amarasekara in 1928, could be an unidentified social elite of the ’20s — a wife of a politician, a daughter of an ambassador, or perhaps another artist. 

She wears a wedding band on her right hand, prominently displayed in the portrait.

But discovering her true identity is proving to be a nearly impossible task.

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