Sarah, Viscountess Castleton (c. 1642-1717)

Object number

LDVAL 13/2


after 1685 – before 1690


Sarah, Viscountess Castleton. After the death of her second husband (the 2nd Viscount Fanshawe, in 1674 (See no. 24)), and after nine months of widowhood, Sarah married her third husband George Sanderson, 5th Viscount Castleton (d. 27 May 1714) on 17th February 1675. Their marriage was apparently a secret one, as the original entry in the Temple Church register was simply ?George and Sarah two persons of quality?, the surnames being added subsequently. She outlived her husband by three years and was buried at St. Martin's in the field. This portrait was originally called ?Sarah, Viscountess Fanshawe, afterwards Viscountess Castleton?. Originally attributed to Sir Peter Lely, now generally thought to be the work of John Riley. Collins Baker described this portrait as one of the four best portraits of women by Riley - ? an atmospheric softness, in the dark eyes especially. The shadows are reddish, the grey half-tones powdery. The draperies are greenish Prussian-blue and coppery brown gold?. See also no. 13/1

Physical description

Large portrait of a woman sitting in an ornately decorated scroll-armed chair. She is wearing a copper colour silk dress with elbow length sleeves which have white lace around the cuffs, and white lace around the low neck line. The sleeves are slit with white silk showing through. She has her right arm resting on the arm of the chair, over the back of which is a turquoise silk shawl which has jewelled decoration along the edge and is hemmed with ermine fur. The other end of the shawl drapes over her lap. She has brown curly hair and is holding a pink carnation in her left hand, behind which as a vase of pink carnations.The background is textured brown.



There was some confusion over the two portraits of Sarah as a Fanshawe and a Castleton - they were both catalogued under the one number. They have therefore been reallocated the number of 13/1 and 13/2 depending on the date of painting.


oil painting


Whole height: 1450mm
width: 1220mm
Canvas height: 1230mm
width: 990mm

Collection type

Fine Art, Fanshawe Portraits

Alternative reference

Entry number 13/2

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Start dateafter 1685
End datebefore 1690
InstitutionValence House Museum
Typeoil painting
Collection type
Fine Art
Fanshawe Portraits