Study of the Head of the Horse for the Equestrian Portrait of the First Duke of Wellington
It is thought that Lilley was entirely self-taught as an artist, studying in Paris regularly, including during the 1830 Revolution. He made sketches of these events which have since been lost. Lilley was also a great admirer of Dutch art and visited Holland. The Duke of Wellington sat for Lilley thirty-nine times, and he painted Prince Albert. In 1891 Lilley moved to Sefton Park, Liverpool. He died at the age of 86. His grand-daughter remembered him fondly: 'My grandfather was a deeply religious man and one of the bst, his life was dedicated to refinement and beauty. As I lost both my parents when I was two years old I lived with my grandfather until his death...he was devoted to me and called me his little Queen. He was a learned man and was constantly quoting from the French authors, Plato, and other great men'.