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Portrait of a Lady

John Astley
1739 - 1789

This is an oil painting of an unknown lady by the society portrait artist John Astley.

We don’t know where the painting was painted or who the sitter is but we do know the portrait is painted by the fashionable beau and extravagant artist John Astley.

John Astley was the great grandfather to the wife of the Astley Cheetham Art Collection’s founder John Frederick Cheetham. Astley was also a generous benefactor of his local community in Dukinfield despite his reputation as a spendthrift landowner.

John Astley was a moderately successful portrait painter in London. But he gained more success through his personality; marrying the widowed Lady Penelope Dukinfield Daniell of Dukinfield Lodge one week’s courtship.

Upon her death he returned to London where he developed a famous reputation as a beau and interior designer of great houses. Living expensively he luckily inherited his stepdaughter’s estate in 1771. Finding London too expensive he returned and built Dukinfield Lodge in 1775 decorating it with old masters and portraits painted by him.

John Astley was a benefactor of his local community and established an iron foundry near Dukinfield. He is also the great grandfather of Emma Beatrice Astley who married John Frederick Cheetham, the donor of this building and the Astley Cheetham Art Collection.