Henry Purcell

1 portrait on display in Room 16 at the National Portrait Gallery

Henry Purcell, by John Closterman, circa 1695 - NPG 4994 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Henry Purcell

by John Closterman
black chalk heightened with white, circa 1695
15 in. x 11 1/4 in. (381 mm x 286 mm)
Purchased with help from Private Treaty and the Worshipful Company of Musicians, 1974
Primary Collection
NPG 4994

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  • Henry Purcell (1659-1695), Composer. Sitter associated with 11 portraits.

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The German artist Closterman came to England in 1680. This is his only known portrait drawing, and the earliest drawing of an English composer to survive. The sketch was almost certainly taken from life and at one time belonged to the eighteenth-century musicologist Dr Charles Burney.

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