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Elizabeth Claypole (née Cromwell)

1 of 27 portraits by John Michael Wright

Elizabeth Claypole (née Cromwell), by John Michael Wright, 1658 - NPG 952 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Elizabeth Claypole (née Cromwell)

by John Michael Wright
oil on panel, 1658
21 1/4 in. x 17 3/4 in. (540 mm x 451 mm)
Purchased, 1893
Primary Collection
NPG 952


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The second daughter of Oliver Cromwell, Elizabeth was his favourite child and is supposed to have exercised a moderating influence on him. She married John Claypole in 1646. This allegorical, and posthumous, portrait shows her as Minerva, goddess of wisdom. The carved relief represents the goddess springing from the head of Jupiter (Jove) with the Latin motto AB JOVE PRINCIPIUM ('From Jove is My Beginning'), in allusion to her father, whose cameo portrait she holds.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Piper, David, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, 1625-1714, 1963, p. 73
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 128