portrait of a young gentleman c 1680 attributed to mary beale

Portrait of a Young Gentleman c. 1680; Attributed to Mary Beale.


Price

POA

Item Ref

8684

Description

Oil on canvas in 18th century giltwood frame.
A fine portrait of a handsome young man; he looks directly and thoughtfully at the viewer. The sitter is contained within a feigned stone oval...a favourite conceit of the artist.
The portrait is typical of the pleasant and direct manner in which Beale depicted her sitters.
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: 37 x 31.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Oxfordshire Private Collection.
Internal Ref: 8684



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