|Artist||James McArdell after Sir Peter Lely|
|Dimensions||Image 435 x 353 mm, Plate 510 x 353 mm, Sheet 517 x 360 mm|
A three quarter-length portrait of Jane Middleton (née Needham). Turned slightly to the left, Jane Middleton is depicted looking directly at the viewer, her hair is loose in ringlets with a string of pearls around her neck. She is wearing a voluminous satin gown and is holding an abundance of fruit and corn at her hip. A fountain with a dolphin's head can be seen to the right of the sitter, with a rocky landscape appearing to the left.
Jane Middleton (Myddleton) (1645 – 1692) was a reputed English beauty during the Restoration Period. Eldest daughter of Sir Robert Needham (d. 1661) and his second wife Jane (1619 – 1666), Jane was married to Charles Myddelton of Ruabon, the third surviving son of Sir Thomas Myddelton of Chirk. Famed for her beauty, Jane was much courted by men, but it is thought that she only took two lovers during her life, Ralph Montagu, 1st Duke of Montagu and Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester. Jane was also an amateur artist.
James McArdell (1729 – 1765) was a mezzotinter. He was born in Dublin, and studied under Brooks. He travelled to London with Brooks c. 1746. McArdell is regarded as the outstanding mezzotinter of the so-called Dublin school, concentrating mostly on portraits. He is believed to have been Reynolds favourite engraver. He published his own plates, most of which were purchased after his death by Robert Sayer.
Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680) was the portrait painter and Principal Painter to Charles II. Born of Dutch parents, he trained in Haarlem, and came to London in the 1640s, where he quickly established a reputation as a portraitist. In 1680, he was appointed Principal Painter at the Restoration and knighted. Lely was prolific, and easily the most fashionable painter of his time. He was known for his lavish lifestyle as well as his celebrated collection of paintings and drawings. Pepys called him 'a mighty proud man, and full of state'.
Chaloner Smith 129, ii/iii, Goodwin 124, iii/iii, O'Donoghue 3
Condition: 4mm margins, some light creasing to edges.