Red chalk on paper
Image size: 7 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches (19 x 23.5 cm)
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An enigmatic portrait of a young woman after Sir Peter Lely’s drawing, currently shown in the British Museum.
Sir Peter Lely was a painter of Dutch origin who spent nearly all of his career in England, where he became the dominant portrait painter to the court. Born in Soest in 1618, Lely trained in Haarlem before travelling to London in 1634. He had painted the children of Charles I in 1647, whilst the king was in custody during the Civil War. After the return of Charles II and the restoration of the monarchy, Lely was appointed Principal Painter to the king and enjoyed a highly successful career at court, producing portraits of the leading figures of the day.