photo credit: Newcastle University
Might this portrait be by Mary Beale (1633–1699), or a follower?
Mary Beale on Your Paintings: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/mary-beale
The collection note: 'I am afraid that the University has no further information on this artwork. We would welcome any further comments!'
Although this picture in its technique and approach, especially with the described oval, I must say I don't think (for me) it quite comes up to Mary Beale's standards. Her portraits are usually better than this. I know that's rather subjective, but there we go.
Of course, it's possible that a degree of dirt and old varnish are making the picture seem a little worse than it is. Equally, it could be a repetition or a copy of a picture by Beale.
The drapery and lace seem rather better painted than the face and hair, suggesting that more than one painter was involved.
In style it does seem to fall within what would be expected from Mary Beale's output, but falls short and is probably by a follower. For an artist who had been an apprentice in Lely's studio and had a thriving practise afterwards it's, in my opinion, not up to Beale's standard.