Mary Beale

Sir Nicholas Stuart, Bart

Sir Nicholas Stuart, Bart by Mary Beale

Artwork Detail

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
Mary Beale
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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