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Portrait of Anne, Viscountess Bayning c.1660; Circle of Gerard Soest.
Oil on canvas in reproduction frame.

Viscount Bayning, of Sudbury in the County of Suffolk, was a title in the Peerage of England. It was created on 8 March 1628 for Paul Bayning, 1st Baron Bayning. He had already been created a Baronet, of Bentley Parva in the County of Essex, in the Baronetage of England on 24 September 1611, and Baron Bayning, of Horkesley in the County of Essex, on 27 February 1628, also in the Peerage of England. He was succeeded by his son, the second Viscount. On his early death in 1638 the titles became extinct.
The substantial Bayning estates in Essex and Sussex devolved on the Honourable Anne Bayning, daughter of the first Viscount. In 1674 the viscountcy was revived in favour when she was made Viscountess Bayning, of Foxley in the County of Berkshire, for life, in the Peerage of England. She was the wife of firstly Henry Murray, Groom of the Bedchamber to Charles I, and secondly of Sir John Baber. The life peerage became extinct on her death in 1678; she was buried at the Savoy Church, London.

The Bayning title was revived once again in 1797 in favour of the Viscountess Bayning's great-great-grandson Charles Townshend, who was made Baron Bayning in the Peerage of Great Britain. See this title for more information.
The Honourable Elizabeth Bayning, daughter of the first Viscount, married Francis Lennard, 14th Baron Dacre, and was created Countess of Sheppey for life in 1680. The Honourable Mary Bayning, daughter of the first Viscount, married William Villiers, 2nd Viscount Grandison, and was the mother of Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland, mistress of Charles II.

GERARD SOEST(d. 1681), portrait-painter, is usually stated to have been born in Westphalia. It is more probable that he was, like Sir Peter Lely, a native of Soest, near Utrecht, as his portraits have some affinity to those of the Utrecht school. He appears to have been born early in the century, but nothing is known of him until 1656, when he came to London, already in some repute as a painter, and quickly obtained employment. His portraits are carefully and forcibly painted, the character of the sitter being well preserved, but his somewhat uncompromising style was tempered by a study of the works of Vandyck in order to suit the English taste.

SIZE: Canvas size:29.75x25 inches
35 x 30.5 inches inc frame (damages).
PROVENANCE: English Private Collection.
Ref: 8816
This item has been sold

Portrait of a Gentleman c.1680 by Mary Beale
Oil on canvas in 17th century frame.
This is a fine quality portrait painted with great sensitivity and insight. The sitter wears an expensive lace cravat and an Indian silk tea gown, highly fashionable, and so costly that Samuel Pepys had to hire one when his portrait was painted by Hayls.
The sitter 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.
Beale excelled in formats where an extra degree of sensitivity was required, and it is noticeable that many of her portraits, as in this example, a slight smile can be detected...there is a freshness and an immediacy that Beale's contemporaries were seldom able to achieve.

MARY BEALE (1632-1697) 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.

Beale was also a talented and intelligent writer, completing her ‘Discourse on Friendship’ [British Library] in 1667, in which she discusses friendship. Mary and her husband believed strongly in equality between man and wife, as shown by Mary’s ‘Essay on Friendship’. Without such equality, Mary believed, true friendship could not exist; ‘This being the perfection of friendship that it supposes its professors equall, laying aside all distance, & so leveling the ground, that neither hath therein the advantage of other.’

SIZE: canvas 30 x 25 inches.
37 x 32 inches inc frame.
PROVENANCE: *Mr. Albert Hochster 1893.
* With Percy G. Beer, dealer in art with premises in Southsea and Ryde in the early 20th century.
*Private Collection.

Ref: 8815
This item has been sold

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