The Countess of Meath, c. 1674
Dutch, British, 1618
oil on canvas
125.7 x 102.9 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 3692)
As principal painter to King Charles II, Peter Lely operated a large studio in London, where he often produced portraits in which the subjects were depicted using a standard repertoire of poses and gestures. Although this costume and pose were used repeatedly, the addition of the arrow makes an allusion to Diana, goddess of the hunt. Elizabeth Lennard (1644/45-1701), wife of the 3rd Earl of Meath, was the daughter of Francis Lennard, 14th Baron Dacre. A portrait of her ancestors, Lady Dacre and the 9th Baron, is on view in Gallery C202.
Frame: carved wood, gilded. Britain, late 17th century