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Elias Ashmole (1617-1692), Antiquary

Sitter in 6 portraits
A lawyer in London in the years leading up to the civil wars, on the outbreak of war Ashmole moved to Oxford, where he became interested in astrology. After returning to London in 1646, he added botany, alchemy, anatomy, logic and medicine to his list of interests. He formed an important collection of astrological, medical and historical manuscripts, which was enormously enriched in 1659 when the famous botanist, John Tradescant, presented Ashmole with his natural history specimens. Ashmole donated his collection to Oxford University, on the condition that a building was constructed to house it. The resulting building, the Ashmolean Museum, opened in 1683, and was the country's first public museum.

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Elias Ashmole

after John Riley
oil on canvas, feigned oval, (1687-1689)
NPG 1602


Elias Ashmole

by William Faithorne
line engraving, 1656
NPG D22630


Elias Ashmole

after William Faithorne
line engraving, published 1797
NPG D29108


Elias Ashmole

after Unknown artist
hand-coloured stipple and aquatint engraving, early 19th century
NPG D29107


Elias Ashmole

after Unknown artist
stipple engraving, published 1824
NPG D29106