caption

circle of Peter Lely, Princess Mary, later Queen Mary II

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)

Details

Country House
Doddington Hall
Title(s)
Princess Mary, later Queen Mary II
Date
? c.1677
Location
Brown Parlour
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Overall height: 115 cm, Overall width: 118 cm
Artist
circle of Peter Lely (1618-1680)
Catalogue Number
DN20

Description

The present portrait has been identified traditionally as Eleanor (‘Nell’) Gwyn (1651?–1687), actress and mistress of Charles II, who is associated speculatively with numerous portraits of anonymous young female courtesans and actresses. However, the resemblance of the present sitter to verifiable portraits of Nell Gwyn, notably those by Simon Verelst, indicates that the identification is untenable. Rather, it is suggested here, the sitter is Mary (1662–1694), eldest daughter of James, Duke of York, later James II, and Anne Hyde. In 1677 Mary married Prince William of Orange. She ascended the throne as Queen Mary II, jointly with her husband, in 1689. Comparison with a similar portrait in the National Portrait Gallery by Sir Peter Lely of Mary, aged fifteen, around the time of her marriage (fig. 1) would appear to confirm the identification.1 The present portrait is attributed here to the circle of Lely on stylistic grounds, and on the comparison with the portrait of Princess Mary in the National Portrait Gallery.

c. 1677. Oil on canvas, 125.4 x 101.9 cm. National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG 6214).

Figure 1.
Sir Peter Lely, Queen Mary II, c. 1677. Oil on canvas, 125.4 x 101.9 cm. National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG 6214).


Digital image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery, London (All rights reserved)

by Martin Postle

Footnotes

  1. NPG 6214.

    1

Related catalogue items from Doddington Hall

  • Castle Howard Doddington Hall

    Robert Pregion Hurton

    circle of Thomas Hudson, c.1747

  • Castle Howard Doddington Hall

    ? Elizabeth Hussey

    circle of Michael Dahl, c.1705–10

  • Castle Howard Doddington Hall

    The Royal Yacht Anne

    follower of Willem van der Velde the Younger, ? c.1670