Elizabeth Murray, Countess of Dysart, later Duchess of Lauderdale (1626-1698)
Sir Peter Lely (Soest 1618 – London 1680)
Oil painting on canvas, Elizabeth Murray, Countess of Dysart, later successively Lady Tollemache and Duchess of Lauderdale (1626-1698) by Sir Peter Lely (Soest 1618 – London 1680), painted in the year of her marriage to Lionel Tollemache, 1648. A three-quarter-length portrait of Elizabeth Murray as a young woman, turned to left, gazing at the spectator, wearing low cut blue satin dress over white undership (shown at neckline and inner sleeves). The dress is fastened down the bodice with five rows of triple pearls culminating at the waist with a ribboned bow. A brown silk /satin scarf is held in her left hand. She wears a single rope pearl necklace, high on the neck. Red hair, falling softly to the shoulders and dressed at the back with a crown of plait. To left, wild landscape background with rocks and trees. She gestures with her right hand towards the central feature of the landscape, a waterfall. The cloudy sky, the rocks and trees are all depicted in a pink glow of late evening.
In 1683 valuation and thence by descent until acquired in 1948 by HM Government when Sir Lyonel, 4th Bt (1854 – 1952) and Sir Cecil Tollemache, 5th Bt (1886 – 1969) presented Ham House to the National Trust, and entrusted to the care of the Victoria & Albert Museum, until 1990, when returned to the care of the National Trust, and to which ownership was transferred in 2002
Ham House, The Dysart Collection (purchased by HM Government in 1948 and transferred to the National Trust in 2002)
Makers and roles
Sir Peter Lely (Soest 1618 – London 1680), artist