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Title Portrait of Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland
Collection Geffrye Museum, London
Artist After Lely, Peter (Dutch painter and draftsman, 1618-1680, active in England)
Date Earliest about 1680
Date Latest about 1690
Description Barbara Villiers (1641-1709), daughter of William Villiers 2nd Viscount Grandison, married Roger Palmer, Baron Limerick, Earl of Castlemaine. She was King Charles II mistress and remained his favourite for many years, despite both taking other lovers. She bore the King at least five children. She was appointed Lady of the Bedchamber to the Queen, despite the latter's protests. She lived in official lodgings at Whitehall and then at Hampton Court. She was made a Duchess in her own right in 1670. This is a copy of a painting by Lely in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. The style of the hair indicates that the original painting dates from about 1680-90.
Current Accession Number 5/1958.2
Inscription front ul 'BARBARA VILLIERS/DUCHESS of CLEVELAND'
Subject portrait (Villiers, Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland)
Measurements 75 x 62.5 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by Miss M. Partridge 1958.
Notes

There are a number of paintings by Lely of this sitter including those in the collections of the Duke of Grafton, Knole in Kent, NPG etc. however, none have the same posed adopted in the Geffrye painting. On file at the NPG is a painting in Althorp collection dated 1947 which is by Mary Beale which shows a similar pose and use of roundel. The frame is identical to the one on Nell Gwynne which was given to the museum by the same person.

This might be Miss M. J. Partridge who sold a work at Sotheby's, 23 April 1969, lot 30, Dieppe by Sickert from Leila Faithfull Colln, exhibition at Arts Council, Painters of the Sea, 1951, no. 7.

Donor address: Miss M. Partridge, 12 Egerton Gardens Mews, SW3.

Rights Owner Geffrye Museum, London
Author Dr Madeleine Korn
 

 

 

 

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