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Sir Kenelm Digby

(1603-1665), Naval commander, diplomat and scientist

Sitter in 24 portraits
A founding fellow of the Royal Society, Digby was a Royalist who served as Chancellor to Queen Henrietta Maria. Due to his social position he was invited to write the Society's first authorised publication, A Discourse Concerning the Vegetation of Plants (1661). However, he began to fall out of step with the approach to scientific enquiry that the Society hoped to promote. His interests lay in alchemy, the attempt to turn base metals into gold, and a 'sympathetic powder', which he claimed could heal a wound by being applied to the weapon that had inflicted it. His prolific writings include an attack on Sir Thomas Browne's Religio Medici, and collections of culinary and medicinal recipes.

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Sir Kenelm Digby, by Peter Oliver - NPG 6274

Sir Kenelm Digby

by Peter Oliver
watercolour on vellum, 1627
NPG 6274

Sir Kenelm Digby, by Sir Anthony Van Dyck - NPG 486

Sir Kenelm Digby

by Sir Anthony Van Dyck
oil on canvas, circa 1640
NPG 486

Sir Kenelm Digby, by Nicolas de Larmessin, after  Sir Anthony Van Dyck - NPG D35202

Sir Kenelm Digby

by Nicolas de Larmessin, after Sir Anthony Van Dyck
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D35202

Sir Kenelm Digby, by Nicolas de Larmessin, after  Sir Anthony Van Dyck - NPG D35203

Sir Kenelm Digby

by Nicolas de Larmessin, after Sir Anthony Van Dyck
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D35203

Sir Kenelm Digby, after Sir Anthony Van Dyck - NPG D16557

Sir Kenelm Digby

after Sir Anthony Van Dyck
line engraving, (1630s)
NPG D16557

Sir Kenelm Digby, after Sir Anthony Van Dyck - NPG D20383

Sir Kenelm Digby

after Sir Anthony Van Dyck
red chalk, (circa 1633)
NPG D20383

Sir Kenelm Digby, by Robert van Voerst, after  Sir Anthony Van Dyck - NPG D27874

Sir Kenelm Digby

by Robert van Voerst, after Sir Anthony Van Dyck
line engraving, circa 1636
NPG D27874

Sir Kenelm Digby, by Robert van Voerst, after  Sir Anthony Van Dyck - NPG D19100

Sir Kenelm Digby

by Robert van Voerst, after Sir Anthony Van Dyck
line engraving, circa 1636
NPG D19100

Sir Kenelm Digby, by Robert van Voerst, after  Sir Anthony Van Dyck - NPG D16555

Sir Kenelm Digby

by Robert van Voerst, after Sir Anthony Van Dyck
line engraving, circa 1636
NPG D16555

Sir Kenelm Digby, by Robert van Voerst, after  Sir Anthony Van Dyck - NPG D16556

Sir Kenelm Digby

by Robert van Voerst, after Sir Anthony Van Dyck
line engraving, circa 1636
NPG D16556

Sir Kenelm Digby, after Unknown artist - NPG D2274

Sir Kenelm Digby

after Unknown artist
line engraving, published 1645
NPG D2274

Sir Kenelm Digby, after Unknown artist - NPG D2275

Sir Kenelm Digby

after Unknown artist
line engraving, published 1645
NPG D2275

Sir Kenelm Digby, by Richard Gaywood, after  Sir Anthony Van Dyck - NPG D16450

Sir Kenelm Digby

by Richard Gaywood, after Sir Anthony Van Dyck
etching, 1654
NPG D16450

Sir Kenelm Digby, by Thomas Cross - NPG D27873

Sir Kenelm Digby

by Thomas Cross
line engraving, published 1668-1669
NPG D27873

Sir Kenelm Digby, by Thomas Cross, after  Unknown artist - NPG D16558

Sir Kenelm Digby

by Thomas Cross, after Unknown artist
line engraving, published 1668-1669
NPG D16558

Sir Kenelm Digby, possibly by Michael Burghers - NPG D27872

Sir Kenelm Digby

possibly by Michael Burghers
line engraving, possibly late 17th century
NPG D27872

Sir Kenelm Digby, after Peter Oliver - NPG D27871

Sir Kenelm Digby

after Peter Oliver
etching, mid 18th century
NPG D27871

Sir Kenelm Digby, after Peter Oliver - NPG D16559

Sir Kenelm Digby

after Peter Oliver
etching, mid 18th century (1627)
NPG D16559

Sir Kenelm Digby, after Peter Oliver - NPG D16560

Sir Kenelm Digby

after Peter Oliver
etching, mid 18th century (1627)
NPG D16560

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