Unknown man, formerly known as Daniel Purcell

1 portrait

Unknown man, formerly known as Daniel Purcell, attributed to Unknown artist, 1690s - NPG 1463 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Unknown man, formerly known as Daniel Purcell

attributed to Unknown artist
oil on canvas, 1690s
22 in. x 18 1/2 in. (559 mm x 470 mm)
Given by Charles Burney, 1907
Primary Collection
NPG 1463

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Sitterback to top

  • Daniel Purcell (1660?-1717), Musician; brother of Henry Purcell. Sitter associated with 1 portrait.

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This portraitback to top

This portrait can be dated to the 1690s, from the evidence of the man's costume. He is shown seated at a harpsichord with a pile of music books, one of which is open at an unidentified 'Sonata Settima'. He holds a miniature portrait of an unknown woman, which he points to with his left hand. The sitter was formerly thought to be Henry Purcell (1659-95), or his brother Daniel (?1660-1716), who was also a composer.

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Current affairs

William III, forced to leave England to fight in Ireland, empowers Mary II, through the Regency Act, to exercise authority in his absence. William, however, unwilling to rest power solely with Mary, appoints a council of nine statesmen directly answerable to the absent king.

Art and science

Philosopher, John Locke, publishes An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding and Treatises on Government, in which he sets out his notion that human understanding is derived from experience. Naturalist, John Ray, publishes Synopsis methodica stirpium Britannicarum. It became the most consulted book for the classification of British plants.


William III lands in Ireland with an allied force of Protestant fighters from European states to fight French and Irish troops under James II. William's victory at the Battle of the Boyne forces James to flee into permanent exile. French defeat the English at the naval battle of Beachy Head.

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