Sir John Chardin

1 portrait

Sir John Chardin, by Unknown artist, 1700-1705 - NPG 5161 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir John Chardin

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, 1700-1705
53 1/4 in. x 53 1/8 in. (1352 mm x 1349 mm)
Purchased, 1977
Primary Collection
NPG 5161

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Sitterback to top

  • Sir John Chardin (1643-1712), Merchant-adventurer and orientalist. Sitter in 5 portraits.

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Chardin, the son of a wealthy merchant jeweller, was born in Paris where he followed in his father's trade. In 1664-70 he travelled as a jewel merchant through Turkey to Persia and India and, on his return to Paris, published an account of his experiences as the jewel agent of Solyman III. Chardin made his second visit to the East in 1671 and, six years later, returned to Europe by way of the Cape of Good Hope. He went on to publish three volumes detailing his experiences and adventures. In 1681 Chardin moved to London in order to escape the persecution of Protestants in France and was soon after appointed court jeweller. This portrait of him is likely to have been painted in London and depicts Chardin with a black page.

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1700back to top

Current affairs

The sudden death of Prince William, son of Princess Anne and George, Prince of Denmark, triggers a succession crisis. His birth had secured the succession of the crown to a Protestant, safeguarding the throne from any future claim by James II's Catholic son, James Francis.

Art and science

Dramatist, William Congreve's comedy The Way of the World premieres at Lincoln's Inn Theatre, receiving a mixed reception. It would achieve greater literary acclaim in modern times. Poet, John Dryden, dies and is buried in Geoffrey Chaucer's grave in Westminster Abbey.


Diplomat and poet, Matthew Prior, secretly negotiates with Louis XIV, king of France, a second partition treaty concerning the Spanish Empire. However, following the death of Spanish ruler, Carlos II, the agreement collapses since neither Spanish or Austrian governments accept the treaty's proposals.

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