Mary Beale (née Cradock; late March 1633 – 8 October 1699) was one of the most successful professional female Baroque-era portrait painters of the late 17th century due to her perseverance of her business. Praised by Richard Gibson and court painter Peter Lely, she is considered as successful as Joan Carlile. Joan Carlile was also an English portrait painter, who was one of the first women to practise painting professionally. Mary Beale managed to be the financial provider for her family through her professional portrait business. Her book Observations, although it was never officially published, was one of the first instructional books ever written by a woman, and boldly announced her authority on painting. Mary Beale stood apart from other women due to her outspokenness and successful business that allowed her to be the breadwinner of the family.