Dec 17, 2007
Aug 4, 2010
Aug 4, 2010

Portrait of Mrs. Leneve

Portrait of Mrs. Leneve

c. 1657

Peter Lely

(British, 1618–1680)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 157.5 x 132.5 x 13 cm (62 x 52 3/16 x 5 1/8 in.); Unframed: 126.7 x 101.3 cm (49 7/8 x 39 7/8 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Otto Miller 1942.247

Did you know?

Long, slender fingers signified aristocratic elegance when this portrait was painted.


This woman’s heavily lidded eyes, fleshy chin, and slender fingers conform to 17th-century ideals of beauty, but when the museum acquired this painting in 1942, her features had been extensively overpainted to bring her more in line with modern standards of beauty. This later intervention included lowering the sitter’s eyebrows, reducing her prominent eyes and lips, and adding curls to make her forehead appear smaller. Mrs. Leneve now appears as the fashionable artist Peter Lely originally intended.

See also
Type of artwork: 
Oil on canvas

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