Hot, in a 17th Century way

March 26 2013

Image of Hot, in a 17th Century way

Picture: Royal Collection, Frances Stuart by Sir Peter Lely

Buzzfeed has posted an art historically essential guide to the 13 hottest portraits of Restoration England. Nell Gwynn is number one.

The selection misses out my favourite, and the undoubted beauty of her age, Frances Stuart, Duchess of Richmond. She also did it for Pepys, who wrote, on 13th July 1663:

into the Queen’s presence, where all the ladies walked, talking and fiddling with their hats and feathers, and changing and trying one another’s by one another’s heads, and laughing. But it was the finest sight to me, considering their great beautys and dress, that ever I did see in all my life. But, above all, Mrs. Stewart in this dress, with her hat cocked and a red plume, with her sweet eye, little Roman nose, and excellent taille, is now the greatest beauty I ever saw, I think, in my life; and, if ever woman can, do exceed my Lady Castlemaine, at least in this dress nor do I wonder if the King changes, which I verily believe is the reason of his coldness to my Lady Castlemaine.

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