portrait of lady mary montgomerie c1666 attributed to john hayls

Portrait of Lady Mary Montgomerie c.1666; Attributed to John Hayls



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Oil on canvas in period giltwood frame.
LADY MARY MONTGOMERIE was the daughter of Hugh Montgomerie, 7th Earl of Eglinton and Lady Mary Leslie.
The title of Earl of Eglinton has been held by the famous Scotish family of Montgomerie since 1508. The Earl of Eglinton is Hereditary Clan Chief of Clan Montgomerie.
Lady Mary was married in 1662 to George, 4th Earl of Winton, thus becoming the Countess of Winton. The marriage feast was held at her father's house in the West Country on 4 September 1662.
Lady Mary had one daughter, also Lady Mary, who died aged three in 1666. The black mourning band decorated with large diamonds almost certainly commemorates the child's untimely death. The Countess of Winton died in 1677.
(Our thanks to Christopher Sheppard, a descendant of the Earls of Wintour, for his help in research).
JOHN HAYLS (Hales) (fl.1651-1679) was a portrait painter who studied under Miereveldt. He was a competitor of Lely and painted in the manner of Van Dyck, also being an excellent copyist of his portraits.
In 1666 Samuel Pepys, the famous diarist and Commissioner for the Royal Navy, had his and his wife Elizabeth's portraits painted by Hayls. Of the paintings he wrote:- "I am still infinitely pleased with my wife's picture. I paid him 14 for it, and 25s for the frame, and I think it is not a whit too dear for so good a picture. It is not yet quite finished and dry, so as to be fit to bring home yet. This day I begin to sit, and he will make me, I think, a very fine picture. He promises it shall be as good as my wife's."
Hayls died in Bloomsbury and is buried in St. Martin's Church.
SIZE: 43 x 34 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: By descent to the 14th Earl of Kintore of Keith Hall, Aberdenshire. Verso: old inventory label "The Earl of Kintore. No. 53 on Oct. '83 valuation".
(The fourth photograph shows Keith Hall as it is today.)
Internal Ref: 8507

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