Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Self Portrait of the Artist as a Shepherdess with her son Charles in Attendance 1664 - 68c.

Mary Beale (1633-99)

Self Portrait of the Artist as a Shepherdess with her son Charles in Attendance, Mary Beale
Zoom
Oil on canvas
17th Century
21 x 18 inches 53.3 x 45.7 cm
 
Provenance:
Private collection England
In this self portrait Mary Beale lays aside her brush and palette, as it were, and takes up the accoutrements of aristocratic fantasy. Paintings showing women in the guise of shepherdesses were popular throughout this period - Mary Beale's later portrait of Lady Leigh as a Shepherdess 1676 (Manor House Museum, Bury St Edmunds) is comparable and like the present example owes something to the example of Sir Peter Lely. The painter's son Charles who was to become a portraitist in his own right and from the earliest was an assistant in her studio is shown piping to her to complete a composition whose moode vokes the Arcadian idylls of Classical poetry.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.