First Previous 2 OF 12 NextLast

Arthur Capel, 1st Earl of Essex; Elizabeth, Countess of Essex

2 of 12 portraits of Arthur Capel, 1st Earl of Essex

Arthur Capel, 1st Earl of Essex; Elizabeth, Countess of Essex, by Sir Peter Lely, circa 1655-1660 - NPG 5461 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Arthur Capel, 1st Earl of Essex; Elizabeth, Countess of Essex

by Sir Peter Lely
oil on canvas, circa 1655-1660
50 1/8 in. x 67 3/8 in. (1274 mm x 1712 mm)
Purchased, 1981
Primary Collection
NPG 5461


Click on the links below to find out more:

Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

  • Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 831 portraits, Sitter in 18 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The Earl holds a sword, the symbol of his military prowess, while the glass globe in the Countess's lap is probably intended to symbolise the fragility of human affairs. The classical bust in the background perhaps represents a Stoic philosopher, and underlines the portrait's moral tone.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 209
  • Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 53

Tell us moreback to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, something missing, or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have any information to share please complete the form below

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your nameclose

If you tick permission to publish your name will appear above your contribution on our website.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.