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Mary Beale, 1633–1699
Bartholomew Beale [2019, YCBA]
Former Title(s):
Charles Beale the Younger
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on paper laid to canvas
14 × 11 inches (35.6 × 27.9 cm), Frame: 16 × 13 1/2 inches (40.6 × 34.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
boy | child | portrait
Associated People:
Beale, Bartholomew (bap. 1656–1709), physician
On view at the Yale University Art Gallery
IIIF Manifest:

Mary Beale was the most successful woman artist working in Britain in the seventeenth century. She probably made this portrait of her son Bartholomew (1656-1709) when he was about four years old, when Beale was living in Covent Garden, an area popular with artists, among whom was her friend and mentor Peter Lely. Beale frequently turned to her young children as subjects in studies such as this one and in her finished paintings. A related picture, for which this may be the study, casts Bartholomew in the guise of a young Bacchus. Mary Beale was not the only female professional artist in this period; the names Joane Carlile (d. 1679) and Anne Killigrew (1660-1685) were also celebrated in their day. Likewise, the ledgers of the Painter-Stainers' Company of London, the guild that regulated the trade, record the names of many other women who trained and worked as painters in the late seventeenth century. There is still much research to be done to establish the significance of their contributions to British art, which have been largely ignored or marginalized in conventional histories.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

YUAG European Galleries (Yale University Art Gallery, 2023-12-01 - 2025-01-15) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

In a New Light: Paintings from the Yale Center for British Art (Yale University Art Gallery, 2023-03-24 - 2023-12-03) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

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