|Artist||Pieter Stevensz Van Gunst after Anthony van Dyck|
|Dimensions||Image 450 x 307 mm, Sheet 508 x 326 mm|
Full-length portrait of the English courtier Lucy Hay, Countess of Carlisle (1599 – 5 November 1660). Born Lucy Percy, the second daughter of the 9th Earl of Northumberland, she married James Hay, the 1st Earl of Carlisle in 1617. Hay's beauty and wit was widely celebrated by contemporary poets and writers including Thomas Carew, William Cartwright, John Suckling and Sir Toby Matthew. Alexandre Dumas is also believed to have based the character of Milady in The Three Musketeers on her. A conspicuous figure at the court of King Charles I, she was rumoured to have been the mistress of both Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, and of John Pym, his parliamentary opponent. Strafford valued her highly, but after his death, she devoted herself to Pym and to the interests of the parliamentary leaders, to whom she communicated the king's most secret plans and counsels.
Pieter van Gunst (1658/ 59 - c.1731) worked in Amsterdam as a reproductive engraver in the manner of Houbraken. A prolific printmaker, he is best-known for his portrait prints and book illustrations. He was linked with Britain in 1713-5 when he engraved a set of ten plates after whole-lengths by van Dyck from the Wharton collection (before they went to Houghton and thence to the Hermitage). These were proposed to subscribers by a syndicate of dealers - Cock, Comyns and McSwiny - who employed Houbraken to come from Holland in 1713 to make the drawings and van Gunst to engrave them in Amsterdam. The set of ten was advertised in the London Gazette on 13 December 1715.
Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) was a Flemish artist who became the leading court painter in England. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family and court. Appointed court painter by Charles I of England in 1632, he was knighted later the same year.
Walpole III 971, Vertue III 82
Ex.Col.: Earl de Grey
Condition: All margins trimmed to plate mark, not affecting image. Sheet tipped to album page. Horizontal crease to centre of sheet and image.