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Catherine Sedley, Countess of Dorchester

56 of 842 portraits by Sir Peter Lely

Catherine Sedley, Countess of Dorchester, by Sir Peter Lely, based on a work of circa 1675 -NPG 36 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Catherine Sedley, Countess of Dorchester

studio of Sir Peter Lely
based on a work of circa 1675
49 1/2 in. x 39 1/2 in. (1257 mm x 1003 mm)
NPG 36

This portraitback to top

The identity and attribution confirmed by the mezzotint after Lely published by R. Williams as Madame Katherine Sidley (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 43). [1] As Piper wrote, NPG 36 appears largely the work of Lely’s studio, but no other version is known.
Called Nell Gwyn in NPG catalogues until 1947. [2]

Footnotesback to top

1) C. Blackett-Ord, ‘Richard Tompson’, Wal. Soc., LXX, 2008, T.30, fig.24.
2) E.g. illus. front. to A. Dasent, Nell Gwynne, 1924.

Referenceback to top

Beckett 1951
R. B. Beckett, Lely, 1951, no.164.

Piper 1963
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, p 110.

Provenanceback to top

Sir Herbert Jenner Fust, Bt., of Hill Court, Glos.;1 Henry Graves, from whom purchased 1858 as Nell Gwyn.

1 G. Scharf, NPG 1888 cat., p 196.

Exhibitionsback to top

Samuel Cooper and his contemporaries, NPG, 1974, no.239; Lancaster House, London, 1974–98; Lyme Park 1999–.


This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685–1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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