A lyrical vision. Solo show
Peter Lely was England's leading painter from the period of the Civil War to the reign of Charles II. Known principally for his portraits of court beauties, Lely devoted his early career to ambitious paintings of figures in idyllic landscapes. This exhibition is the first to examine this remarkable but forgotten group of early paintings. Depicting a sensuous pastoral world of shepherds, nymphs and musicians, these pictures are all the more extraordinary for having been painted during the turmoil of the English Civil War and its aftermath. Organised around The Courtauld's enigmatic The Concert, the exhibition includes an important group of paintings loaned from historic private collections. This is a chance to see some of the most beautiful and seductive paintings made in 17th-century England.