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Unknown woman, formerly known as Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn

18 of 31 portraits on display at Lyme Park, Stockport

Unknown woman, formerly known as Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn, studio of Sir Peter Lely, circa 1675 - NPG 3976 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Unknown woman, formerly known as Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn

studio of Sir Peter Lely
oil on canvas, circa 1675
50 in. x 40 in. (1270 mm x 1016 mm)
Purchased, 1956
Primary Collection
NPG 3976


Click on the links below to find out more:

Sitterback to top

  • Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn (1651?-1687), Actress; mistress of Charles II. Sitter associated with 28 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 829 portraits, Sitter in 18 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The pose of the sitter, with a lamb, was a standard pattern used by Lely and his studio in a number of portraits of different women.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D11443: Mary (née Kirke), Lady Vernon (same pose)
  • NPG D10959: Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn (source portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Foskett, Daphne, Samuel Cooper, 1974 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 15 March - 15 June 1974), p. 128
  • Perry, Gill (introduction) Roach, Joseph (appreciation) and West, Shearer (appreciation), The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 2011 to 8 January 2012), p. 74
  • Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 99
  • Piper, David, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, 1625-1714, 1963, p. 148
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 269