Oil on canvas, 140.3cm by 114.3cm. In a carved wood frame.
William Cecil was the second son of John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700). The 1738 Burghley Inventory records: “The Blue Velvet Bedchamber ….. A Picture over the Chimney, of Mr Wm Cecil when a Child, by Wissing, he is playing with a Dog, and points to a Parrot, wch sits in a Tree, 4 1/2 F.long, 3 1/2 broad, fine carved Work round it.”
William Wissing was an extraordinarily talented portrait painter who studied with, and later assisted, Sir Peter Lely. He died at Burghley at the age of only 31, having painted the portraits of many members of the family.