Sir Peter Lely Elizabeth, Countess of Kildare c.1679

Artwork details

Artist
Sir Peter Lely 1618–1680
Title
Elizabeth, Countess of Kildare
Date c.1679
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1234 x 1000 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1955
Reference
T00070
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1650

Display caption

Elizabeth Jones, eldest daughter of the 1st Earl of Ranelagh, was one of the great beauties of the Restoration

court

. The orange blossom that she holds, and the cupids on the pot to the left, may refer to her readiness to marry. However, in the late 1670s, when it is thought this painting

was made, she was rumoured to be mistress to Charles II. She was not to marry the Earl of Kildare until 1684. 

Citrus fruits were a rare and expensive food, the plants cultivated by only the wealthiest households.

February 2010

About this artwork