1893 text

Peter Lely, afterwards knighted. He lived in the Piazza, Covent Garden. This portrait was bought by Lord Braybrooke at Mr. Pepys Cockerell’s sale in 1848, and is now at Audley End.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

7 Annotations

vincent  •  Link

ist painting
Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich
by Sir Peter Lely
oil on canvas,circa 1655-1659
On display at the National Portrait Gallery
peter lely
Born 1618, Died 1680
Painter, Draftsman

His real name was van der Faes, but Peter Lely took his nickname after a family home with a lily on its gable. Born in Germany to Dutch parents, by 1637 he was Pieter Lely at the Guild of Saint Luke in Haarlem, where he trained. Ten years later he was in London, where he painted landscape, religious, and history pictures but quickly recognized the strength of the market in portraiture. Working for many of the late Anthony van Dyck's patrons, Lely took the opportunity to study his predecessor's paintings carefully.
alt bio:

David Quidnunc  •  Link

A bit about his place in British art history:

"Portraiture, which was to become the single most brilliant achievement of English painting in the 18th century, was a field dominated in the 17th century by foreign artists who received many commissions from the royal court. The leading exponents of this period were van Dyck and Lely."

Quoted from this page, which pictures one of his portraits:

(This link thanks to Nix's annotation for 22 Nov 1660)

Pauline  •  Link

from L&M Companion
...by 1650 he was living in a house in the Piazza, Convent Garden, possibly the one in which he died. In the hearth-tax returns of 1666 a Mr Lilly is shown as occupying premises on the n. side of Long Acres, which contained a number of painters' studios (those e.g. of Hayls, Gibson and Streeter). The best-known of his works in the diary period are the series of court beauties (now at Hampton Court) and of the admirals who fought the Battle of Lowestoft (now in the National Maritime Museum). Pepys was himself painted by Lely, or in his studio, in 1673, probably on his appointment to the Admiralty. This picture now hangs in the Hall of Magdalene College. Pepys possessed at least two other protraits by him--those of Sandwich and Morland--and preserved in his library a number of engravings of Lely's portraits.

jeannine  •  Link

Summarized from Grammont

Lely was the principal painter of Charles II's reign and was born at Soest in Holland, and studied under Grebber at Haerlem. His real name was Van der Faes, his father being a captain in the infantry. He came to England in 1643 and was well received at the court. He became well known in Charles' court for the collection of "beauties" at Hampton Court.
In comparing Lely's painting with Vandyke's, Walpole contrasts the formal drapery of the latter with the fantastic night-gown raiments of the former. 'Whether the age was improved by beauty or in flattery, Lely's women are certainly mre handsomer than those of Vandyke. They please as much more as they evidently meaned to please." The commentary goes on to note the "sameness" of all of the women that Lely painted in their sleepy eyes and some facial expressions.

Bill  •  Link

Sir Peter Lely, who painted history and landscape when he first came into England, applied himself afterwards to portrait, in emulation of Vandyck. He copied the works of that admirable master with great success; but could not arrive at his excellence in copying nature. Vandyck painted what he saw before him; Lely painted his own ideas. In Vandyck's pictures we instantly see the person represented; in Lely's we see the painter. The languishing air, the sleepy eye, the cast of draperies, shew him to have been an excessive mannerist: but they shew him, at the fame time, to have been an excellent artist. The ladies were desirous of being drawn by his hand, as he knew how to bestow beauty where nature had been sparing. It has been justly said of him, that "he painted many fine pictures, but few good portraits." Ob. 30 November, 1680, Æt 63. He left an estate of 900 l. per annum, and his judicious collection of paintings, prints, and drawings sold for 26,000 l.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1775.

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