by Robert Walker
oil on canvas, circa 1649
49 1/2 in. x 40 in. (1257 mm x 1016 mm)
Transferred from British Museum, 1879
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), Lord Protector of England. Sitter associated with 221 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Robert Walker (died 1658), Painter. Artist associated with 128 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Cromwell was a country gentleman who became a soldier, statesman and finally Lord Protector of Great Britain. As MP for Huntingdon and then Cambridge, he was an outspoken critic of Charles I and 'much hearkened unto'. His military skills and God-fearing tenacity were decisive factors in the Parliamentarian victory in the Civil War. Cromwell was prominent among those who first treated with, and then executed the king in 1649. This portrait is thought to date from that year and shows Cromwell wearing a type of armour which is unlikely to have been worn in battle but instead designed as a symbol of chivalric virtues. He holds a baton, the symbol of high military command.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Cooper, John, Great Britons: The Great Debate, 2002, p. 59
- Cooper, John, Oliver the First: Contemporary Images of Oliver Cromwell, 1999, p. 21
- Cooper, John, A Guide to the National Portrait Gallery, 2009, p. 21
- Foskett, Daphne, Samuel Cooper, 1974 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 15 March - 15 June 1974), p. 131
- Piper, David, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, 1625-1714, 1963, p. 92
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 62
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 62
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 155