Coloured chalks heightened with gouache, 25.4cm by 20.3cm.
Elizabeth Egerton (d.1688), a daughter of the 1st Earl of Bridgewater, was the wife of David, 3rd Earl of Exeter (d.1643) and was at Burghley when it was attacked by Cromwellian troops soon after her husband’s death.
The 1763 Burghley Inventory records: The Library ….. ‘Drawing by Sir Peter Lely of Eliz. Countess of Exeter daughter of John Earl of Bridgewater.’
In 1754 the portrait was a gift from Lionel, Duke of Somerset to Sir William Hamilton, who is thought to have given it to Brownlow, 9th Earl of Exeter (1725-1793).
John Greenhill was a pupil of Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680).
He closely studied the work of his master and that of Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), and achieved great success in his short life.