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Venetia, Lady Digby (1600-1633), Beauty; wife of Sir Kenelm Digby

Sitter in 4 portraits
Noted for her beauty and intelligence, Venetia Stanley was the wife of the diplomat and author, Sir Kenelm Digby. She was the subject of much scandal, and was said to have been the mistress of Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset while betrothed to Digby, who was abroad at the time. The tale of the Digby's romance and the restoration of Venetia's virtue are detailed in her husband's memoirs, Loose Fantasies. After nine years of marriage, she died suddenly - quite possibly after drinking her husband's 'viper wine', a concoction reputed to preserve beauty. Digby mourned her loss extravagantly.

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5727

Venetia, Lady Digby

by Sir Anthony Van Dyck
oil on canvas, circa 1633-1634
On display in Room 6 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5727

D28449

Venetia, Lady Digby

by James Basire
line engraving, published 1786
NPG D28449

D28448

Venetia, Lady Digby

by Andrew Birrell, published by Silvester Harding, after Isaac Oliver
stipple engraving, published 1802
NPG D28448

D2143

Venetia, Lady Digby

by Unknown artist
pen and ink
NPG D2143

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Individuals