The book, being a collection of 55 drawings, is a good sample for a large number of artist's great work, and for those who want to know more about Sir Peter Lely’s drawing. Actually it is a good book for those who like to study more about art: 55 sketches in a book is not a big amount of picture in a picture book, but it is still very useful for those who like drawing and want to study something from other great masters’ sketches.
Sir Peter Lely was a painter of Dutch origin, whose career was nearly all spent in England, where he became the dominant portrait painter to the court.
He arrived in London in around 1641, which was marked by the death of Anthony van Dyck in December. His early English paintings, mainly mythological or religious scenes, or portraits set in a pastoral landscape, show influences from Anthony van Dyck and the Dutch baroque. Lely's portraits were well received, and he succeeded Anthony van Dyck as the most fashionable portrait artist in England. He became a freeman of the Painter-Stainers' Company in 1647 and was portrait artist to Charles I. His talent ensured that his career was not interrupted by Charles's execution, and he served Oliver Cromwell, whom he painted "warts and all", and Richard Cromwell.
After the English Restoration in 1660, Lely was appointed as Charles II's Principal Painter in Ordinary in 1661, with a stipend, as Van Dyck had enjoyed in the previous Stuart reign. Lely became a naturalized English subject in 1662.
Lely was knighted in 1680. He died soon afterwards at his easel in Covent Garden, while painting a portrait of the Duchess of Somerset, and was buried at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden.
The book is also good for library collection, and will be helpful for someone doing drawing studies. Reproductions are good for the richness of color. Comprehensive and the images are of good quality considering the electronic format. It's like a really good study catalog with references, perfect for learning about line, shading and composition rather than a coffee table book. This book provided the tools needed to elevate your drawing ability to a higher level and teaches how to draw both realistically and beautifully. It steps back into the best and reveals how the old masters illustrated and sculpted.