Information from the museum, 6 July 2009
The Dutch painter Sir Peter Lely (1618-80) was one of the greatest artists working in seventeenth century Britain. Originally producing history paintings and landscapes with figures, Lely is most famous as a portrait painter, and as such he was awarded the post of Principal Painter to Charles II in 1660. As well as being a celebrated artist, Lely was also famous as one of the first great collectors of art in Britain, amassing an important collection that included 10, 000 prints and drawings and nearly 600 paintings.
This display considers Lely as both artist and collector, comprising works on paper from the collections of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery of Scotland that include drawings by Lely, mezzotints and engravings after painted portraits by Lely, and Italian and Flemish Old Master drawings from Lely’s own collection. Other artists represented in the display include Abraham Blooteling, Pierre Lombart, Polidoro da Caravaggio and Guilio Romano.