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Barbara Villiers was Charles II's leading mistress in the early years of his reign and became Duchess of Cleveland in 1670.
Portrait of Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland, with her son by Sir Peter Lely, circa 1664
© National Portrait Gallery
- Oil on canvas Dimensions: 124.7 x 102cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £40,000 ( Total: £147,000)
- Acquired in:
- Alfred Bader Fine Arts
This portrait depicts the King's mistress with her eldest son by the King, Charles Fitzroy, later created Duke of Southampton and then Duke of Cleveland. It is the most audacious of Lely's role portraits as it depicts the mistress and illegitimate son as Madonna and Child. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.
Ladislaus Bloch, Vienna; Frederick Muller, Amsterdam (auction house), 1905; ...; Messrs Shepherd; Messrs Dowdeswell before 1912; ...; Galerie Fischer, Lucern, 1990; Walter Küng; Alfred Bader Fine Arts, 2001.