Mary Beale was born in Barrow, near Bury St.

Edmunds in Suffolk. Although the historian George Vertue suggests that she was a pupil of Sir Peter Lely, Mary Beale's early training is unknown. By 1670 Mary Beale was established in Pall Mall as a professional portrait painter, rising to the peak of her success in 1677. She was able to adapt to the change of fashion in portraiture after the sudden death of Lely in 1680.


Richard Jeffree.

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