Sir Kenelm Digby
Sir Kenelm Digby
by Sir Anthony van Dyck
oil on canvas, circa 1640
46 1/8 in. x 36 1/8 in. (1172 mm x 917 mm)
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665), Naval commander, diplomat and scientist. Sitter in 24 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), Painter. Artist associated with 1007 portraits, Sitter associated with 31 portraits.
This portraitback to top
A naval commander, diplomat and scientist, Digby was considered to be 'the most accomplished cavalier of his time', and was sent by Charles I to ask for the Pope's help in the Civil War. An early member of the Royal Society, he was renowned for his tall stories and for his 'sympathetic powder' which was said to cure wounds when applied to the weapon which had inflicted them. A friend of the French philosopher Descartes, his prolific writings include an attack on Sir Thomas Browne's Religio Medici. He is shown in this portrait wearing armour and holding the baton of military command.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Cooper, John, Oliver the First: Contemporary Images of Oliver Cromwell, 1999, p. 28
- Piper, David, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, 1625-1714, 1963, p. 97,107
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 179
- BSL Gallery Tour: Van Dyck: Transforming British Art
26 November, 19:30
- Visualising Portraits: Van Dyck: Transforming British Art
29 October, 14:00
- Lunchtime Lecture: Van Dyck: Transforming British Art
1 October, 13:15
- Weekend Workshop: Painting Yourself into the Past
From 12 September, 11:00