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Mary Beale earned her family's livelihood painting portraits of dignitaries, while her husband Charles took responsibility for buying her paints and canvases. He wrote a text, Experimental Secrets (1648), on the use of pigments, supports and painting technique, which provides invaluable insights into 17th century painting methods. The illusionistic carved oval in which this portrait is framed was a popular device that Beale emulated from the works of Peter Lely.
The subject of this painting, Sir Nicholas Stuart, was Lord of the Manor at Hartley Mauditt in Hampshire for 25 years between 1614 and 1790. His family tomb in St Leonard's Church states that he won his escutcheon fighting in France whilst serving in exile with King Charles II. After the Restoration his confiscated lands were returned and he was created a baronet.
- Sir Nicholas Stuart, Bart
- Production date
- oil on canvas
- 765 x 644 mm
- Credit line
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Dr Hugh Wansey Bayly, 1940
- Accession no
- No known copyright restrictions
- International Art
- Display status
- Not on display
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