Sir Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision

The Courtauld has drawn together a sensual group of canvases from early in the career of Peter Lely, England's leading painter from the Civil War to the end of Charles II's reign.

Although he is chiefly remembered today for his portraits of languid society beauties, Lely produced a number of lyrical subject pictures in his early career, their poetic character presenting a contrast with the political turmoil of the times.

This group of enigmatic paintings are large in scale and united by strong lighting, idealised landscape settings and a sense of theatricality and sensuality. Twelve of these beautiful canvases will be reunited in the Courtauld’s winter show.

Venue details

The Courtauld Gallery Somerset House, Strand London WC2R 0RN 020 7848 2526

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £6)

Daily, 10am – 6pm (last admission 5.30pm)
24 Dec, 10am – 4pm
Closed 25 and 26 Dec

Telephone 01865 278002

Member offers

10% off shop purchases

What the critics say


The exhibition centres on one of the oddest paintings in the Courtauld's collection: The Concert, of circa 1650


A small, titillating show shines a new light on a 17th-century court painter’s erotic early works