LELY, le'li, Sir PETER ( 1618-80 ) . A Dutch English portrait painter (Pieter van der Faes), who practiced chiefly in England. Ile was the son of Johan van der Faes, alias Lely, a captain of foot in the service of the States-General. He was born at Soest—authorities differ whether the town in Westphalia or the village near Utrecht is meant. A pupil of Pieter de Grebber at Haarlem, in 1641, he went to England in the train of William, Prince of Orange, where his portraits of the latter and his bride, Princess Nary, made him well known. lie remained in London, and in August, 1647, he painted the striking portrait of Charles 1., now in Lion Douse, Islewo•th. During the Commonwealth he painted the portrait of Cromwell (Pitti Gal lery, Florence). and at the Restoration he was made Court painter by Charles 11. He painted the royal family, the royal mistresses and their children, ministers, and generals. lle was cele brated in the verses of Pope and other contem poraries, and Pepys notices him in his diary.
Though very extravagant, he amassed a fortune, and was without a rival until the arrival of Kindler (q.v.). He was knighted in 1679, and died in London. November 30. 1680.
Lely's early works are modeled on Van Dyck, and are clear and warm in color, the hands being especially well drawn. In later life, when he had beeome popular, he employed assistants for the draperies and accessories, and his art de generated. His color became cold and heavy, and his style mannered. He is chiefly famous for his portraits—the fair and frail beauties of the Court of Charles 11. llis best known work is the series of "Beauties." originally eleven in number, but now reduced to nine, painted for the Duchess of York. They are now at Hampton Court. Another well-known series is that of the "Admirals," twelve in number, painted for the Duke of York.