portrait of a young girl c1675 by mary beale

Portrait of a Young Girl c.1675; by Mary Beale



Item Ref



Oil on canvas in period carved and giltwood frame.
A charming portrait of a young girl wearing a 'Roman' robe draped over her shoulder; this is not a garment she would ever have worn in her everyday life. Its purpose was to suggest the Classical world of Ancient Rome, so fashionable at the time. This was known as "elevating the sitter" and was thought to confer a timeless quality upon the portrait.
The young lady is depicted within a beautifully painted feigned stone oval, bearing fruit. This motif was used so often by Beale as to be almost her trademark. It also was intended to be a Classical reminder.
MARY BEALE (1633-1699) was born in Barrow, Suffolk, the daughter of John Cradock, a Puritan rector. Her mother, Dorothy, died when she was 10. Her father was an amateur painter, and member of the Painter-Stainers' Company, and she was acquainted with local artists, such as Nathaniel Thach, Matthew Snelling, Robert Walker and Peter Lely. In 1652, at the age of 18, she married Charles Beale, a cloth merchant from London - also an amateur painter.
She became a semi-professional portrait painter in the 1650s and 1660s, working from her home, first in Covent Garden and later in Fleet Street.
The family moved to a farmhouse in Allbrook, Hampshire in 1665 due to financial difficulties, her husband having lost his position as a patent clerk, and also due to the Great Plague of London. For the next five years, a 17th-century two storey timber-framed building was her family home and studio.
She returned to London in 1670, where she established a studio in Pall Mall, with her husband working as her assistant, mixing her paints and keeping her accounts. She became successful, and her circle of friends included Thomas Flatman, poet Samuel Woodford, Archbishop of Canterbury John Tillotson, and Bishops Edward Stillingfleet and Gilbert Burnet.
She became reacquainted with Sir Peter Lely, now Court Artist to Charles II. Her later work is heavily influenced by Lely, being mainly small portraits.
Mary Beale died in 1699 in Pall Mall, and was buried at St. James's, Piccadilly in London. Her husband died in 1705.
SIZE: 35 x 30 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: From the Collection of Viscount Cowdray, Cowdray Park, Sussex where it hung in Lady Cowdray's Bedchamber.
(Image 4 shows the house from the air).
Verso: an illegible 19th c. Exhibition label and a further old label for "William Young, Fine Art Collector and Dealer in Articles of Value"
Internal Ref: 9595

This item is SOLD and is no longer available to purchase.

* This item has been sold, though you can still email the seller if you wish

View Similar

Select a category: