“Bright Souls”: The Forgotten Story of Britain’s First Female Artists
Curated by Dr Bendor Grosvenor     


This summer, we will bring together the work of the first British female artists for an exhibition in London. “Bright Souls”: The Forgotten Story of Britain’s First Female Artists, featuring works kindly loaned from both museums and private collections, will show how the 17th Century artists Joan Carlile, Mary Beale and Anne Killigrew managed to achieve success in an age when women had few career options, and even fewer rights.  
The exhibition, the first ever devoted to Britain’s pioneering female artists, will be held at our London gallery, and will include self-portraits of all three artists. The exhibition will be curated by art historian, Dr Bendor Grosvenor.  
Previously, the stories of Carlile, Beale and Killigrew have faded from view in British art history, not least because many of their works were later attributed to male artists such as Sir Peter Lely. But all three artists were well known to contemporaries: Carlile as the first professional female British artist; Beale as the most successful; and Killigrew, dying of smallpox at the age of just 25, as the most tragic.  
Killigrew’s death prompted the then Poet Laureate John Dryden to hope that her legacy would nevertheless live on, writing, "Still with a greater blaze she shone, And her bright soul broke out on ev'ry side.”

Bright Souls will now not only reveal new light on the careers of Carlile, Beale and Killigrew, but will also unveil a number of hitherto lost works.  





“Bright Souls”: The Forgotten Story of Britain’s First Female Artists 
An exhibition presenting the lost art and forgotten story of Britain’s pioneering female painters. 
Monday 24th June to Saturday 6th July 2019  
Weekdays 10.30am to 5pm | Saturday 12 noon to 4pm 
Lyon & Turnbull, 22 Connaught Street, London, W2 2AF  
0207 930 9115 | 


Image: MARY BEALE (BRITISH 1633 – 1699) | Self Portrait, The artist holding a palette | Oil on canvas, 45.7 x 38.1cm | Courtesy of West Suffolk Heritage Service