"Portrait Of A Lady, Late 17th Or Early 18th Century; Follower Of Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680)"In 17th century Britain portraiture flourished and between the 1640’s and 1680 the dominant court painter Sir Peter Lely was at the forefront of this craft. Having arriving in England from he rapidly established himself as one of the country’s most important portrait painters, including Charles I as patron. He painted the most elite and influential members of the court and it was the de rigueur of the day to have one’s portrait painted by him. He ran a prolific studio and to accommodate this demand it was necessary to employ a vast number of studio assistants, whom along a vast number of pupils and copyists (see Charles Beale and Thomas Hawker), carried on Lely’s traditions after his death, well into the 18th century (many producing variations of Lely’s themes). These works are often fine works of art in themselves.
Our painting is such an example. Painted late 17th or early 18th century, it depicts a lady with long brown hair in corkscrew curls and the ever-so omnipresent pearls. The translucent light skin and the almond eyes are trademarks of Lely’s style and where an idealisation of beauty at the time. A feature of this portrait is the wonderfully carved and gilded antique frame, that contains a brass presentation plate with text “Portrait Sir Peter Lely 1618-1680”.
Peter Lely, the son of a Dutch military officer, was born in Germany at Soest in Westphalia in 1618. Though his family name was van der Faes, he assumed the name Lely after the lily that was carved on the gable of his father’s home in The Hague. He studied in Haarlem before moving to London in 1641 and in 1647 he became a freeman of the Painter-Stainers’ Company. Initially, Lely painted a variety of subject matter including landscape, religious, and mythological scenes, however, he quickly recognised the strength of the English market for portraiture by working for many of the patrons of the late van Dyck.
Height 99cm, Width 87cm, Depth 8cm framed (Height ”, Width ” framed)