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Gerard Valck (1651/2–1726) after Sir Peter Lely (1618-80)

Louise, Duchess of Portsmouth 1678

Mezzotint | 35.7 x 26.2 cm | RCIN 657497

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Louise de Kéroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth and Aubigny, supplanted Barbara Villiers in Charles II's affections in 1670 and remained his principal mistress until his death. Both French and Catholic, Louise aroused fascination and suspicion in equal measure. The late 1670s saw an increase in the number of printed portraits of Louise in circulation, perhaps linked to a rise in anti-Catholic sentiment resulting from fears over the succession. Cat. 170