First Previous 2 OF 13 NextLast

John Evelyn

2 of 13 portraits of John Evelyn

John Evelyn, by Robert Walker, 1648 - NPG 6179 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

John Evelyn

by Robert Walker
oil on canvas, 1648
34 5/8 in. x 25 1/4 in. (879 mm x 641 mm)
Purchased with help from The Art Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Dame Helen Gardner Bequest, 1992
Primary Collection
NPG 6179


Click on the links below to find out more:

Sitterback to top

  • John Evelyn (1620-1706), Diarist and virtuoso. Sitter associated with 13 portraits, Artist associated with 2 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Robert Walker (died 1658), Painter. Artist associated with 129 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Evelyn records in his Diary that he sat to Walker on 1 July 1648, and that his portrait was intended to accompany a treatise on marriage which he had written for his young wife Mary Browne. The portrait originally showed him holding a miniature or medal of his wife. The skull was substituted some years later, with the Greek motto (top) signifying: 'Repentance is the beginning of Wisdom', and the quotation in Latin from Seneca on the importance of preparing for death.

Linked publicationsback to top