Portrait of Louise de Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth

Object Details


Portrait of Louise de Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth


Peter Lely (English, 1618 - 1680)




about 1671 - 1674


Oil on canvas


125.1 x 101.6 cm (49 1/4 x 40 in.)

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Louise de Keroualle, the duchess of Portsmouth, sits in front of a window open to a lush landscape. Her loosely draped blue silk dress reveals the creamy skin of her chest and neck. In a pose both sensual and elegant, with her head slightly turned, Louise de Keroualle looks down at the viewer as she plays with a thick, lush strand of her abundant hair. Her features--almond-shaped eyes, gently arched eyebrows, a straight nose, and full red lips--epitomized ideal beauty of the late 1600s.

Louise de Keroualle, who worked as a spy for Louis XIV, came to England from France as a Maid of Honour to the sister of King Charles II in 1670. Soon afterward, she became Charles's favorite mistress, and in 1673 he created for her the position of Duchess of Portsmouth. She used her influence to strengthen the friendship between Charles II and Louis XIV.

by 1769 - 1819

George Harry Grey, fifth earl of Stamford and first earl of Warrington, 1737 - 1819 (Dunham Massey, Altrincham; England; Enville Hall, Staffordshire, England), probably by inheritance to his son, George Harry Grey, 1819.

1819 - 1845

Probably George Harry Grey, sixth earl of Stamford and second earl of Warrington, 1765 - 1845 (Enville Hall, Staffordshire, England), probably by inheritance to his grandson, George Harry Grey, 1845.

1845 - 1883

George Harry Grey, seventh earl of Stamford and third earl of Warrington, 1827 - 1883 (Enville Hall, Staffordshire, England), probably by inheritance (life interest only) to his second wife, Katherine Cocks, 1883.

1883 - 1905

Probably Katherine Cocks, countess of Stamford, died 1905 (Enville Hall, Staffordshire, England), probably by inheritance to her grandniece, Catherine Sarah Grey, 1905.

1905 -

Probably Lady Catherine Sarah (Payne) Grey, died 1925 (Enville Hall, Staffordshire, England), probably by inheritance to her son, John Foley Grey.

- 1928

Sir John Foley Grey, eighth Bart., 1893 - 1938 (Enville Hall, Stafford, England; Birmingham, West Midlands, England) [sold, Grey sale, Christie's, London, June 15, 1928, lot 48, to Colnaghi.]


Colnaghi (London, England; New York, New York), sold to L. Gow, July 1928; transaction cancelled and painting returned to Colnaghi by November 1928; sold to F. B. Daniell and Son, 1928.

1928 -

F. B. Daniell and Son

Charles Russell


Estate of Charles Russell [sold, Sotheby's, London, December 7, 1960, lot 9, to Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd.]

1960 - 1961

Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London, England), sold to J. Paul Getty, 1961.

1961 - 1976

J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976 (Malibu, California; Sutton Place, Surrey, England), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1976 - 1978

Estate of J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976, distributed to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978.

Art Treasures of the United Kingdom Collected at Manchester in 1857 (May 5 to October 17, 1857) (Cat. 198)
  • Art Treasures Palace, (Manchester)
Sir Peter Lely, 1618-80 (November 17, 1978 to March 18, 1979) (Cat. 49)
  • National Portrait Gallery (London), November 17, 1978 to March 18, 1979
Painted Ladies: Women at the Court of Charles II (October 11, 2001 to March 17, 2002) (Cat. 49)
  • National Portrait Gallery (London), October 11, 2001 to January 6, 2002
  • Yale Center for British Art, (New Haven), January 25 to March 17, 2002

Catalogue of the Art Treasures of the United Kingdom, Collected at Manchester in 1857, exh. cat. (n.p.: n.p., 1857) p. 122, no. 198.

Christie, Manson & Woods, London. Catalogue of Choice Pictures by Old Masters. The Property of Sir John Foley Grey, Bart. [...]. June 15, 1928 p. 9, lot 48.

Sotheby's, London. Catalogue of Important Old Master Paintings [...]. December 7, 1960 p. 4, lot 9.

Sotheby's, New York. Important Old Master Paintings. December 2, 1976 under lot 148.

Millar, Oliver. Sir Peter Lely, 1618-80, exh. cat. (London: National Portrait Gallery, 1978) pp. 65-66, no. 49, ill.

Rogers, Malcolm. "Some Beauties of Sir Peter Lely." Connoisseur 200, no. 804 (February 1979) p. 112, cover ill.

Stewart, J. Douglas. Review of Sir Peter Lely, 1618-80. London, National Portrait Gallery. The Burlington Magazine 121, no. 911 (February 1979) pp. 130, 132, 133, fig. 99.

Benko, Éva. "Sur un 'Portrait de femme' par Godfrey Kneller." Bulletin du Musée Hongrois des Beaux-Arts, no. 55 (1980) pp. 57-64, figs. 35 (detail), 37.

Battiscombe, Georgina. The Spencers of Althorp (London: Constable, 1984) p. 47, ill.

The Great Artists: Their Lives, Works and Inspiration. Vol. 3, Part 69, Lely (London: Marshall Cavendish, 1986) p. 2201, ill.

Sotheby's, New York. Old Master and 19th Century European Paintings, Drawings and Watercolors. July 19, 1990 unpaginated, under lot 185.

Hall, Nicholas H. J., ed. Colnaghi in America: A Survey to Commemorate the First Decade of Colnaghi New York (New York: Colnaghi, 1992) p. 130.

Howse, Derek. "The Lunar-Distance Method of Measuring Longitude." In The Quest for Longitude. William J. H. Andrewes, ed. (Cambridge, MA: Collection of Historic Scientific Instruments, Harvard University, 1996) p. 152, fig. 3.

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Toman, Rolf, ed. Die Kunst des Barock: Architektur, Skulptur, Malerei (Cologne: Könemann, 1997) p. 480, ill.

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MacLeod, Catharine, et al. Painted Ladies: Women at the Court of Charles II, exh. cat. (London: National Portrait Gallery, 2001) pp. 142-43, no. 49, ill., entry by Julia Marciari Alexander.

Conway, Alison. Private Interests: Women, Portraiture, and the Visual Culture of the English Novel, 1709-1791 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001) p. 60, fig. 16.

Millar, Oliver. Review of Painted Ladies: Women at the Court of Charles II. London and New Haven. The Burlington Magazine 144, no. 1186 (January 2002) p. 44.

Hopkins, Graham. Constant Delights: Rakes, Rogues and Scandal in Restoration England (London: Robson Books, 2002) ill. between pp. 112-13.

Ribeiro, Aileen. Fashion and Fiction: Dress in Art and Literature in Stuart England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005) pp. 274-75, pl. 176.

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Curd, Mary Bryan H. Flemish and Dutch Artists in Early Modern England: Collaboration and Competition, 1460-1680 (Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010) pp. 102, 105, fig. 4.4.

Boulaire, Alain. Louise de Keroual: maîtresse du roi d'Angleterre et agent de Louis XIV (Brest: Éditions Le Télégramme, 2011) ill. facing p. 88, cover ill.

Fogg, Marnie, ed. Fashion: The Whole Story (New York: Prestel, 2013) pp. 92-93, ill.