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Nell Gwyn (1651?-1687), Actress; mistress of Charles II

Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn

Sitter associated with 28 portraits
Eleanor Gywn, or 'Pretty witty Nell', as Pepys called her, came to London as an orange-seller, and rose to become one of the leading comic actresses of the day, and mistress to the King, Charles II. The playwright Dryden supplied her with a series of saucy, bustling parts, ideally suited to her talents. She had two sons by the King, and the elder, Charles Beauclerk, was created Duke of St Albans. She was said to have been remembered by Charles on his deathbed with the words 'Let not poor Nelly starve'.

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'Legend of Chelsea Hospital' (King Charles II; Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn)

published by Joseph Hogarth, after Unknown artist
stipple engraving, published 1845
NPG D29271


Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn

by Henry T. Greenhead, after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, before 16 June 1913
NPG D35092


Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn

attributed to Simon Verelst
oil on canvas, circa 1670
On display in Room 7 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG L248


Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn

after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, (circa 1665-1680)
NPG D18789


Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn

after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, (circa 1665-1680)
NPG D19550


Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn

by and published by Gerard Valck, after Samuel Cooper
line engraving, circa 1700-1725
NPG D19832


Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn

by Peter van Bleeck, after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, 1751
NPG D18788


Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn

published by Samuel William Fores
stipple engraving, published 7 May 1786
NPG D19680