The newly discovered paintings shown in our "Bright Souls" exhibition from Monday 24th June to Saturday 6th July date from the 17th Century, and are exceptionally rare works by Joan Carlile, Mary Beale and Anne Killigrew, the first British women to make their name as artists. With works loaned from both museums and private collections, "Bright Souls" is the first exhibition ever devoted to Britain’s pioneering female artists, and includes self-portraits of all three artists.
A full-length portrait by Joan Carlile, the first female British professional painter. Like many works by female artists, it had been wrongly attributed to a male artist. It was discovered in the staircase of Mellerstain House in Scotland. It was painted in the 1650s, when Carlile opened a studio in Covent Garden in London.
A previously unknown portrait by Mary Beale, the most successful female British artist of the 17th Century. The sitter is thought to be Beale’s friend and cousin, the poet Samuel Woodforde. It was painted in the 1660s when Beale created a series of ‘friendship portraits’, bringing a hitherto unknown degree of sensitivity to British portraiture. But the attribution to Beale was lost, and it was more recently thought to be by the court artist Sir Peter Lely.
A rare portrait by Anne Killigrew, the first British artist to successfully combine the ‘sister arts’ of painting and poetry. Although Killigrew is known to have painted over a dozen works, only three are known today. The newly identified painting would represent a fourth, and was identified last year in a minor Italian auction. Painted in the 1680s, shortly before she died of smallpox in 1685, it probably shows the artist herself, in a highly detailed allegorical setting.
“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 | firstname.lastname@example.org