Photo credit: Royal Institution of Cornwall
This is clearly a Sir Peter Lely composition. It might be an original or a version or a product of his studio. It should be compared with a painting of Charlotte Noel, Duchess of York in Torrington Town Hall, which has the same composition, but is of a rather different sitter http://bit.ly/2cVBb6P
Lely occasionally painted pictures of this type 'fancy portraits' of female sitters as saints, as did some of contemporaries. Both paintings are very dirty and one would need to see them to form any sensible opinion as to their status.
It looks like the Queen Mary II of England 1962-1694.
This might be a specific woman as St Agnes, but not St Agnes proper. However, the rather knowing expression may be more in keeping with a shepherdess. As for authorship, it could certainly be studio of Lely, though cleaning is badly needed and quite probably deserved.
This painting is superb. Once cleaned it will resolve into a finer work than either http://bit.ly/2cVBb6P or https://bit.ly/34WkDpf | https://bit.ly/38OXUwe | https://bit.ly/3hux5Sg
The painting of Charlotte Noel looks to be derived from this, noit the other way around.
This is particularly apparent in the way that in the present work, the fold of the bidce relate directly to the shape of the breasts beneath them. In the Charlotte Noel painting, all the folds are there, but not conforming to the shape beneath.
Likewise the pale blue robe conforms to the shape of the figure. In the Catherine Noel painting the drapry is far less meaningful and structured.
The woman's left hand makes sense in the first picture, and not in the second.
I think thois is a very fine picture and would love to see it cleaned.
Both the current picture and that of Charlotte Noel probably derive their compositions from a yet unidentified autograph Lely prototype. It's a pity that the drapery in the portrait under discussion is hard and formulaic. Clearly the work of a copyist or, at best, studio assistant.
It's a further pity that it has probably been slightly cut down, as comparison to Charlotte Noel would suggest.
Here is an image showing that the compostion, as opposed to our particular version, was engraved in Lely's lifetime.
Catherine Grey (née Ford), Lady Grey of Warke, mezzotint, circa 1680, after Sir Peter Lely (National Portrait Gallery, D30551).
I think ours is earlier in hairstyle.
This seems to link with the other discussion about Michael Wright.
David's Shepherdess formerly Nell Gwynne(first link) looks the same person as our sitter.
Davids unknown shepherdess-link3hux5sg ,last of three- looks like the sitter in the other discussion(Michael Wright?) but a year or two older.
David's middle link-Lucy Walter- looks like neither this sitter or the Micheal Wright discussion sitter.