Windsor Beauties

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Frances Stewart, Duchess of Richmond, before 1662, as Diana

The Windsor Beauties are a famous collection of paintings by Sir Peter Lely, painted in the early to mid-1660s. The name stems from the original location of the collection, which was housed in the Queen's bedchamber in Windsor Castle. They can now be seen at Hampton Court Palace.

The Portraits[edit]

The Royal Collection includes 10 portraits as part of the set. They show the women at three-quarter length in various poses. Some women wear current fashions; others are draped in loose robes intended to evoke classical antiquity.

List of "Beauties"[edit]

Elizabeth Hamilton, Countess of Gramont, c. 1663

The original set of "Beauties" painted by Lely include, depending on the source:

The portraits for the first 10 names are included at the Royal Collection website as "probably commissioned by Anne Hyde, Duchess of York."

The Duchess of York does not figure in the above list often; but since she was largely responsible for the collection (and choosing the sitters), she was also painted as part of the series. Possibly a little flattery from Lely was responsible for this.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Cunningham, Peter (1865). "The Early Painters of England: Peter Lely". The Art Journal. 27 (Vol. 4, New series): 8.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Melville, Lewis (2005). The Windsor Beauties: Ladies of the Court of Charles II (Revised ed.). Ann Arbor: Victorian Heritage Press. pp. i. ISBN 1-932690-13-1.

External links[edit]