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SIR PETER LELY (1618-80)

Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland (ca 1641-1709)

c. 1665

RCIN 404957

Barbara Villiers was Charles II's principal mistress between 1660 and 1670 and the most powerful woman at court. She devoted much energy to public demonstrations of the king's favour through displays of jewels and wealth. She was painted frequently by Lely, who described her beauty as ‘beyond the compass of art’.

Cat. 57

    The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.