Sir Peter Lely Portrait

Sir Peter Lely Biography


Dutch, born in England Baroque Painter

Peter Lely (1618-1680), Dutch-born English portrait painter, known for his paintings of 17th century English aristocracy. Born Pieter van der Faes in Soest, Westphalia (now in Germany), Lely trained in Haarlem, the Netherlands, where he became a guild member. In the mid-1640s he settled in London and was thereafter commissioned to paint the leading figures of the English court. King Charles II made Lely court painter in 1661 and knighted him in 1680. Lely's painting, fashionably elegant and marked by strong composition and lively color, shows the influence of Flemish master Sir Anthony van Dyck. Lely's series of paintings, called collectively the Windsor Beauties (1660s), is in Hampton Court Palace, London. Another series, the Admirals, (1666-1667) is in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England.