Portrait of the Day: Mary Beale

Past event archive
10 August 2014, 12:00

Room 6


  • Gallery Talk

Mary Beale, by Mary Beale, circa 1665 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Mary Beale
by Mary Beale
circa 1665
NPG 1687

Mary Beale is one of the earliest recorded female painters in England, working from the mid-1650s until her death in 1699. She was a friend of Charles II’s court painter Sir Peter Lely and produced copies of his works for the middling classes and several aristocratic patrons. Her working life was recorded by her husband, Charles Beale, who acted as her studio assistant, keeping detailed records of her experimentation with pigments. By the 1670s, Mary became successful enough to employ studio assistants and even taught her two young sons to paint ensuring a faster turnaround for commissions during busy periods. Talk led by Sarah Birt.

Programme subject to change