A Portrait of Anne Cavendish, Countess of Exeter, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt. (1646-1723).

Oil on canvas, 124.5cm by 99cm.

Lady Anne Cavendish (1649-1703), was the only daughter of William, 3rd Earl of Devonshire (1617-1684) and widow of Charles, Lord Rich, to whom she was married at the age of fourteen.

In 1670 she became the wife of John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), with whom she travelled on three of his four Grand Tours, enthusiastically helping him to add to the Burghley Collections.

The 1738 Burghley Inventory records: ‘The Brown Dining room….This Lord’s Grandfather & his Lady in one Piece; his Lady singly in another.’

The ‘this Lord’ referred to was Brownlow, 8th Earl of Exeter (1701-1754).

The 1763 Burghley Inventory records: ‘the brown dining room….. [following an entry for the portrait of the 5th Earl]…..Anne, his wife, daughter (of) William Duke of Devonshire.’


Related collections