Sir Peter Lely
Elizabeth, Countess of Kildare c.1679

Artwork details

Sir Peter Lely 1618–1680
Elizabeth, Countess of Kildare
Date c.1679
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1234 x 1000 mm
No information available
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 2016

About this artwork