Credit: ©The Royal Society
    Image number: RS.21173

    Portrait of Lady Hill, probably Anne Hill

    Anne Hill (1635 - 1661, British)
    Unknown artist in the style of Peter Lely (1618 - 1680, Dutch) , Painter
    Object type
    Image reference
    height (canvas): 620mm
    width (canvas): 500mm
    height (frame): 850mm
    width (frame): 690mm
    Head and shoulders portrait of Lady Hill inclined slightly left, looking out at the viewer. Her dress is typical of the 1650s. She wears an orange, boned bodice, with a low, off the shoulder neckline, lined with gauzy material. Her sleeves are full, held together with gemstone clasps, revealing the chemise below. Accessorised with a blue shawl and pearl jewellery, with hair styled in curls and ringlets at the side of her head, and a flat top bun, just visible.

    Painted in a feigned oval. In a pine frame with lap joints, and floral and bead-shot design.

    This portrait is suspected to depict Abraham Hill’s (1630-1732) first wife, Anne Whitelocke, whom he married in 1657.

    Anne Whitelocke (1635-1661) was daughter of Bulstrode Whitelocke (1605-1675), a prominent parliamentarian. She married Abraham in November 1657 and lived with him and his parents at their house in Lime Street. She was mother of their two children, Frances (1658-1736) and Richard (1660-1721).
    Verso: Allen’s Depositories, Ltd. Bournemouth West. [in ink] Mrs Hill
    The...[property of] Mrs Ursula Hill Norfolk Lodge Canford Cliffs Bournemouth
    Object history
    Donated to the Society by the Davies family (descendants of the Hill family), January 2020.

    Accessioned as a portrait of one of Abraham Hill's wives, research into the period fashion was undertaken to establish whether it depicted Anne Whitelocke or Elizabeth Pratt (1644-1721), and findings would suggest the former. Also accessioned without an artist attribution, however, clearly an imitator of Peter Lely (1618-1680). Lely’s portraits of the 1650s and 1660s emphasised satin decorated with drapery and a few jewels, and his women often appear in boned bodices that feature low, rounded necklines, as is visible here.

    This research was funded by the Understanding British Portraits network. Additional resources can be found at the below links:

    Blogpost: https://royalsociety.org/blog/2023/06/seeing-clearly
    Google Arts & Culture exhibition: https://artsandculture.google.com/story/RQWhU6fgd4jbpA
    Associated place
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          > United Kingdom
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