Oliver Cromwell

1 portrait on display in Room 5 at the National Portrait Gallery

Oliver Cromwell, by Robert Walker, circa 1649 - NPG 536 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Oliver Cromwell

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
Primary Collection
NPG 536


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Sitterback to top

  • Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), Lord Protector of England. Sitter associated with 222 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Robert Walker (1599-1658), Painter. Artist associated with 129 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.

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