|Riley, John (1646-1691)|
English portrait painter.
His early career is obscure, but he emerged as the most distinguished
figure in English portraiture in the interval between the death of Lely
in 1680 and the domination of Kneller. Although he was appointed Principal
Painter to William III and Mary II jointly with Kneller in 1688, his finest
works are not court portraits but depictions of sitters from humble callings;
the best known are The Scullion (Christ Church, Oxford) and Bridget Holmes
(Royal Collection, 1686), a full-length portrayal of a nonagenarian housemaid
who brandishes her broom at a mischievous pageboy.