portrait of a young boy c 1680 by mary beale

Portrait of a Young Boy c 1680, by Mary Beale.


Price

SOLD

Item Ref

8981

Description

Oil on canvas in period carved and giltwood frame.
A charming portrait of a young boy, typical of Beale's sensitive approach to painting children. As here, Beale invariably accords her portraits of children with tenderness and a distinctively sympathetic characterisation. The sitter is almost certainly the brother of the portrait of the girl by Beale also on this website.
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. Mary Beale was not the only female painter in England, but her name alone has survived as that of the only woman to make a successful living, and to enjoy a flourishing practice as a portraitist.
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. Her surviving works, however, suggest far more the artist who was a close friend of Sir Peter Lely and widely reckoned to be Van Dyck's most accomplished copyist. Her grasp of Lely's colouring is evident, but the pleasant and direct manner in which she treats her sitters is entirely her own.
Mary Beale died in 1699 in Pall Mall, and was buried at St. James's, Piccadilly in London. Her husband died in 1705.
SIZE: 34 x 28.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Wiltshire Private Collection.
Internal Ref: 8981


Dimensions

Height = 86 cm (34")
Width = 72 cm (29")
Depth = 3 cm (1")



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