Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of Louise de Kerouaille Duchess of Portsmouth (1649 - 1734) 1670s

Mary Beale (1633-99)

Portrait of Louise de Kerouaille Duchess of Portsmouth (1649 - 1734), Mary Beale
Zoom
Oil on canvas
17th Century
18 x 15 inches 45.7 x 38 cm
 
This exquisite jewel-like portrait relates to portraits by Sir Peter Lely of King Chares II's favourite mistresses, remembered by him in the famous last words ''Be well to Portsmouth, and let not poor Nelly starve,'' linking her and Nell Gwynn finally as they were joined in constant rivalry during his life. Louise de Kerouaille first encouraged the King''s attentions when she was employed as a French spy in the early 1670s but despite this ulterior motive she soon succumbed genuinely to the King's charm and to the bounty of the royal purse.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.