Second Mary Beale portrait comes to auction in Colchester22 April 2021 The popularity of 17th century artist Mary Beale (1633-99), one of Britain’s first professional female painters, has grown in recent years.
Auction house Reeman Dansie in Colchester, Essex earlier this year sold a ‘lost’ portrait by the artist and is now bringing a second work to the market next week – a painting of a chaplain to King Charles I.
Beale was one of only a small number of female artists working professionally in London during her day. Born in Barrow, Suffolk, the daughter of a clergyman, she studied under the portraitist Sir Peter Lely and, as her reputation grew, by the 1670s her work was in considerable demand.
She and her husband Charles Beale (1632-1705), a cloth merchant who was also an amateur painter, had two sons, Charles and Bartholomew, both of whom worked in her studio early on.
The Beale painting to be offered at Reeman Dansie’s East Anglian, Fine Art & Antiques Sale on April 27-29 depicts Jeremy Taylor, chaplain in ordinary to King Charles I. It is estimated at £6000-10,000 at the auction on April 28.
The painting was previously owned by Nicholas Bromley Davenport at Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire. The current vendor's late father purchased it at Christie's on April 15, 1994.
A copy of the label at the back states: 'This picture was originally at Baginton Hall and is an Heirloom under the will of William Bromley Davenport who died in 1884; removed from Baginton Hall during the fire of 1899 and rehung in 1902 at Capesthorne Hall'.
Reeman Dansie sold another Beale in its January 26-27 sale. The portrait of a young boy was similar to a number of known portraits by Beale of her son Bartholomew. It was hammered down at £100,000, well above the estimate of £400-600.
The Reeman Dansie sale next week also includes items from the late dealer Robert Barley.