|Her father, Jan Sanders van Hemessen was a well-known painter in Antwerp and presumably her teacher. She was a highly successful painter. Her main patron was Queen Mary of Hungary. Van Hemessen married Christian de Morien in 1554 and thus her career ended. Most historians think this is true because there are no paintings by her after this date and because it was customary for a woman to give up painting after she was married. Queen Mary respected her talent so much that when she died in 1558, she left an endowment for the cople to live out their lives in comfort. Van Hemessen's paintings have a quiet dignity to them, the sitters eyes never meet the viewer's. Her pictures also tend to be small with plain dark backgrounds that give no sense of location or extended space.