Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of a child of the Capel family 1660c.

Sir Peter Lely (1618-80)

Portrait of a child of the Capel family, Sir Peter Lely
Oil on canvas
17th Century
50 x 40 inches 127 x 101.2 cm
To view portraits by Peter Lely for sale, please go to www.philipmould.com.

This portrait exemplifies the luxurious fantasy which Lely could conjure for his English sitters and shows how truly he deserved the mantle of Van Dyck as the court’s favourite painter. This vision of a young girl in an arcadian landscape, effortlessly charming the birds from the trees, in this case an exotic African grey parrot to perch on the nearby branch to take cherries from her hand. Rich yellow amber draperies to the left echo a deep sunset through the trees as if to prove triumphantly to doubters that no one could master such a rich world of tonal pleasure so well as Peter Lely. It was a suitable advertisement and this portrait prefigures the later portrait at full-length of the Duke of York’s young daughter Princess Anne, the future Queen painted in the following decade.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.