Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014
Eleanor Needham, Lady Byron (1627-64)
In this portrait Eleanor Needham, Lady Byron is depicted as Saint Catherine of Alexandria in a guise probably intended to flatter Charles II's Queen, Catherine of Braganza. Accordinly she carries the martyr's palm branch and leans upon a wheel. The sitter looks to two putti in the upper left, one of whom holds a wreath of bay leaves above her head. She is wearing a copper-red dress with a richly decorated blue mantle about her arms.