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17thc Baby Portrait Studio Of Mary Beale (1633-1699) English School Oil Portrait Paintings


£12,500 | $17,420 USD | €14,568 EUR
Item Number: SA639342
Date of manufacture: 17th Century
Current Status: For sale
Seller: Mansion House Antiques & Fine Art
This antique has been viewed 66 times in the past month with the most views from the United States.


Extremely Rare Late 17thc Oil Portrait of a Baby holding a coral teether.
ABOUT THE ARTIST ( Studio of Mary Beale )
Mary Beale (née Cradock; late March 1633 – 8 October 1699) was one of the most successful professional female Baroque-era portrait painters of the late 17th century due to her perseverance of her business.
Praised by Richard Gibson and court painter Peter Lely, she is considered as successful as Joan Carlile.
Joan Carlile was also an English portrait painter, who was one of the first women to practise painting professionally. Mary Beale managed to be the financial provider for her family through her professional portrait business.
Mary Beale stood apart from other women due to her outspokenness and successful business that allowed her to be the breadwinner of the family.
Portraits of babies from the 17th & 18th centuries are quite rare, and obviously desirable for their charm and appeal.
This delightful portrait of a round-cheeked, blue-eyed infant is posed using the conventions established for formal European court portraiture, and as found in other early portraits of royal or aristocratic infants.
The child is depicted full-length, sitting with a highly formalised velvet curtain drape in the background. As with other royal and noble portraits, the baby is shown propped up as if on a chair of state, and seemingly possessing the self-control and formal bearing normally found in portraiture of adults at court.
The absence of a family armorial, combined with a lack of knowledge as to the portrait’s original provenance, make the identification the child problematic.
However the scale and richness of composition, with the baby dressed in the finest and most expensive white satin dress trimmed with lace and holding an expensive hand crafted coral teether,suggests that at the very least, this is a child from an wealthy family.
The prominence of the coral teether in the picture reflects the traditional belief that coral has magical protective properties. It was thought that coral could ward off illnesses and evil spirits. Coral was also hard, cool and clean, making it ideal as a material for the teething infant.
In fact, the coral’s rich colour was thought to reflect the appearance of physical well-being and if the coral began to change colour it was a harbinger of illness.
The baby in this portrait is wearing pink ribbons, it is interesting to note that the colours pink and blue were not associated with the gender of children until the 20th century.
The painting has been re-lined to ensure good condition into the future
Presented in a good 18th century carved wood frame.
MEASUREMENTS (Including Frame)
Height 37 Inches
Width 32 Inches
This exceptionally rare example is estimated to be late 17th Century Region of (1690 )
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BLUE Drapes Studio Of Mary Beale
Victoria & Albert Museum Collection
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Internal Ref: 0675/A


This item is antique. The date of manufacture has been declared as 17th Century.


Height = 94 cm (37.0")
Width = 81 cm (31.9")
Depth = 7 cm (2.8")

Seller Details

Mansion House Antiques & Fine Art
East Midlands
United Kingdom

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