- Peter Lely, English, 1618-1680
Sir Peter Lely
Portrait of a Young Lady, possibly Miss Wharton, early 1660s
Oil paint on canvas
Promised Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, TL-17960
Sir Peter Lely was the leading portrait painter of his day. His sensuous brushwork and lush colors perfectly suited the taste for luxury and licentiousness in post-Cromwell England. Lely’s society ladies were shown dressed in flowing gowns of silk and satin, revealing much and sometimes all of the bosom. The youthful Miss Wharton is almost demure by contrast. Instead of a languid, seductive pose, Miss Wharton sits upright facing the viewer. The pose is reminiscent of Renaissance Madonnas, a visual connection Lely may have wished to make in the viewer’s mind for its message of innocence and purity.
- “Treasures from the Berger Collection: British Paintings 1400-2000” — Denver Art Museum, 10/2/2014 – 9/9/2018