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Mary Beale Oil Paintings
Mary Beale was born in 1633, death in 1699, was one of the most successful professional female Baroque-era portrait painters of the late 17th century due to her perseverance of her business. Growing up in Barrow, Mary lived close to Bury St Edmunds. A group of painters worked in Bury St Edmunds, including Peter Lely and Matthew Snelling, whom Mary may have met in her youth. Mary Beale managed to be the financial provider for her family through her professional portrait business. Her book Observations, though never officially published, was one of the first instructional books ever written by a woman, and boldly announced her authority on painting. Mary Beale stood apart from other women due to her outspokenness and successful business that allowed her to be the breadwinner of the family.