Portrait of a Lady in Blue holding a Flower

Peter Lelyc.1660

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery
London, United Kingdom

This painting, along with its pair to the left of the arch, hung for almost 300 years at Raynham Hall in Norfolk, the estate of the aristocratic Townshend family, before being sold at auction in 1904. The two portraits, which have always hung together, may represent two sisters; a theory supported by the fact that the two girls physically resemble one other. Lely, however, is widely known for painting a certain fashionable facial type in the latter part of his career. These girls, along with many of Lely’s portraits of courtly beauties, share the same heavy half-closed eyes and languid expression, a very specific look that seems to recall Barbara Villiers, one of the most influential mistresses of Charles II.


  • Title: Portrait of a Lady in Blue holding a Flower
  • Creator Lifespan: 1618 - 1680
  • Date: c.1660
  • Physical Dimensions: w1025 x h1267 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Nationality: British
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: Raynham Hall, Marquess of Townshend, bef. 1904; Charles Fairfax Murray; Fairfax Murray Gift, 1911 (as by Daniel Mytens).
  • Further Information: This is probably a pair with DPG559 Lely 'Portrait of a Lady', which were bought at the Townshend sale in 1904 and may show sisters from that family.
  • Artist: Lely, Sir Peter
  • Acquisition Method: Fairfax Murray, Charles (Gift, 1911)

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