Portrait of a Boy in a Hunting Costume
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Originally a painter of arcadian landscapes and history subjects, Lely devoted himself primarily to portraiture after his move to England around 1643, soon emerging as the dominant portrait painter to the royal court. His gentle paintings of children are among his most appealing and natural portraits.
This work follows the pattern of several other paintings by Lely. It shows the young subject in a landscape setting and dressed in a lavish fantasy costume, in the style of an arcadian shepherd or even a young Adonis, the legendarily handsome figure from mythology.