Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn
Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn
by Simon Verelst
oil on canvas, feigned oval, circa 1680
29 in. x 24 7/8 in. (737 mm x 632 mm)
Bequeathed by John Neale, 1931
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 29 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Pepys wrote in his diary, 'Up, it being a fine day: and after doing a little business in my chamber, I left my wife to go abroad... and saw pretty Nelly standing at her lodgings door in Drury-lane in her smock-sleeves and bodice.' May 1st 1667.
Linked publicationsback to top
- National Portrait Gallery: 100 Portraits, p. 36
- Gibson, Robin, Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery, 1996, p. 47
- Macleod, Catharine; Alexander, Julia Marciari, Painted Ladies: Women at the Court of Charles II, 2001 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 11 October 2001 to 6 January 2002), p. 170
- 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. 34
- Piper, David, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, 1625-1714, 1963, p. 149
- Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 85
- Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 103
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 269
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 92
- Williamson, David, Kings and Queens, 2010, p. 116
- Williamson, David, The National Portrait Gallery: History of the Kings and Queens of England, 1998, p. 118
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons (20 October 2011 - 8 January 2012)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1680back to top
Current affairsWilliam Howard, Viscount Stafford, is convicted of impeachment and beheaded on account of his alleged involvement in the Popish Plot. Whigs' sponsorship of a pope-burning procession, for the second consecutive year, supports their campaign to exclude James, Duke of York from the throne.
Art and scienceWriter, John Bunyan, publishes, The Life and Death of Mr. Badman. Novelistic in form and conceived as a dialogue between two gentlemen, the book was intended as a sequel to the first part of The Pilgrim's Progress.
InternationalRevelations surface of a Catholic uprising in Ireland with French support. The government launches an inquiry, ultimately leading to the execution of Oliver Plunket, Archbishop of Armagh. Secretary of State, Robert Spencer, in adopting an anti-French foreign policy, forges a defensive Anglo-Spanish treaty while seeking an alliance with the Dutch.
See this portrait
On display in Room 7 at the National Portrait Gallery