Categories: Miniatures |

A Miniature of a Lady, called Venetia Stanley, by Peter Oliver (c1594-1647), circa 1620.

Oval, on vellum, in a lacquered wood frame, 5.5cm. Signed ‘PO’.

Venetia Stanley (1600-1633) was a celebrated beauty of the early Stuart period. She is depicted here as a bride, with long, flowing brown hair and wearing a low-cut multi-coloured embroidered white dress trimmed with lace, a black string necklace and pearl earrings.

She was not, in fact, a bride until 1625 when she married the courtier and scientist Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665).

The miniature was listed in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, an inventory recording an immense bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689) to her only daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703): ‘A Picture of the Lady Venetia Stanley’.

With the exception of the jewelled cross about the sitter’s neck, this is a mirror version of a miniature, signed John Hoskins, in the Royal Collection.


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