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Henry Purcell (1659-1695), Composer

Sitter associated with 11 portraits
Purcell, the pre-eminent composer of the Restoration period and the father of modern music in England, is said to have written his first composition at the age of eleven in honour of Charles II's birthday. He became organist of Westminster Abbey in 1679, and of the Chapel Royal in 1682. Purcell composed religious anthems, secular songs, instrumental pieces, odes, music for plays and 'semi-operas', and the famous Dido and Aeneas, one of the first English operas, and the Fairy Queen. According to John Evelyn he was 'esteemed to be the best composer of any Englishman hitherto'.

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Henry Purcell

after John Closterman
oil on canvas, (probably 1695)
NPG 2150


Henry Purcell

by John Closterman
black chalk heightened with white, circa 1695
NPG 4994


Henry Purcell

by or after John Closterman
oil on canvas, 1695
On display in Room 8 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1352


Henry Purcell

by Robert White
line engraving, circa 1683
NPG D5218


Henry Purcell

by Robert White, after John Closterman
line engraving, 1695
NPG D32252


Henry Purcell

after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid 18th century
NPG D30448


Henry Purcell

by William Nelson Gardiner, published by E. & S. Harding, after Silvester Harding
stipple engraving, published 1 November 1794
NPG D13860


Henry Purcell

by William Humphrys, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
line engraving, mid 19th century
NPG D30449


Henry Purcell

by George Zobel, after John Closterman
mezzotint, circa 1850s-1870s
NPG D3979


Henry Purcell

after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid 18th century
NPG D40771


Henry Purcell

by George Zobel, after John Closterman
mezzotint, circa 1850s-1870s
NPG D40770



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