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John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

1 of 6 portraits of John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, by Unknown artist, circa 1665-1670 - NPG 804 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, circa 1665-1670
50 in. x 39 in. (1270 mm x 991 mm)
Purchased, 1888
Primary Collection
NPG 804

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A member of the most dissolute and licentious court circles, Rochester with his ready wit alternately fascinated and enraged Charles II, who dismissed him from court at least once a year, but always had him immediately recalled. As a poet his name is chiefly associated with a number of obscene and pornographic works, but he was also a satirist and lyricist of genius. This portrait has a satirical message almost certainly of Rochester's devising. It portrays him, manuscript in hand, bestowing the poet's laurels on a jabbering monkey who is tearing out the pages of a book and handing them crumpled to the poet.

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  • NPG D20284: John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (after)

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