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SOLD....Portrait of Jane Bickerton, Duchess of Norfolk (?), Circle of Lely c.1678

Oil on canvas in a period carved and giltwood frame.

This beautiful portrait of 'cabinet size' is thought to be of Jane Bickerton; (the 'cabinet' in the 17th century was a small, intimate room in which were kept items important to the owner, and only their closest friends would be admitted).
The painting has a great theatrical sense of movement and solidity, using a combination of drapery and pose. this portrait is a perfect example (on an unusually small scale) of Lely's late portraiture with its unashamed courtly sensuality.
The pose in this painting seems to have been reserved by Lely and his Studio for the portraiture of courtesans and mistresses.

Mistress, then wife, of Henry Howard, the 6th Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal of England. She was the daughter of Robert Bickerton, Gentleman of the King's Wine Cellar and his wife Anne Hester.
Jane had lived with Norfolk since the death of his first wife in 1662. They had four children and some time before 18 January 1678 they married, causing protests from Norfolk's legitimate children.
Bickerton represents a rare example of a woman of relatively modest background marrying into the highest level of the aristocracy.
After Norfolk's death in January 1684 she married Thomas Maxwell, Quartermaster-General to the army.

SIR PETER LELY (1618 - 1680) was the most important portraitist in the reign of Charles ll. Principal Painter to the King, he painted everyone of importance, maintaining a busy and active Studio to help with the huge demand for his portraits. Members of his Circle, many of them talented artists in their own right, emulated his style to supply this constant market.

SIZE: 29 x 21 inc. frame

PROVENANCE: Anonymous sale, Christie's 16 June 1967.
Then forty two years in a private London Collection.


(B) portraits SOLD


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