Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680) was a Dutch-born artist who spent most of his life in England. He was a portrait painter to Charles I, and subsequently worked for Oliver Cromwell. Following the Restoration, he became chief portrait painter in the court of Charles II.
He was a very prolific artist although he sometimes completed only the head of a sitter, leaving his pupils to do the rest. He died at his easel, while painting a portrait of the Duchess of Somerset.