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Early Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Samuel Butler (1612-1680), Author of 'Hudibras'

c.1660?
Miniature, called Samuel Cooper; Buccleuch collection (H. A. Kennedy, ‘Portrait Miniatures in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch’, Studio, 1917, p 20, pl.xl, as doubtfully by Cooper). Butler, according to Aubrey (p 84), had been a friend of Cooper. A good version at Chewton House.

c.1665
Painting attributed to Pieter Borsselaer, see NPG 5925.

c.1674
Painting by Gilbert Soest, see NPG 2468.

c.1680
Drawing by Edward Luttrell, see NPG 248.

c.1721
Laureate marble bust by J. M. Rysbrack, Westminster Abbey. A second bust, pre-1732 (G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XXII, 1934, p 57) remains unidentified.

c.1773
Wedgwood profile medallion (R. Reilly & G. Savage, Wedgwood, the Portrait Medallions, 1973, p 77).

Unidentified Portraits
Watercolour by George Vertue from Horace Walpole’s collection, sold Sotheby’s, 25 June 1866(1723), bt. Colnaghi.

The young Butler, listed at Wimpole (G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XVIII, 1930, p 138).

From the Fountaine collection (G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1936, p 10). In 1975 there was at Narford only a double portrait identified as Butler (half-length) and C. Cotton [presumably the poet Charles Cotton, 1630-87], acquired or commissioned by Sir Andrew Fountaine, 1676-1753 (see letter from A. Fountaine, 24 May 1975, on file).

Bust-length by Isaac Fuller (G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XVIII, 1930, p 66).

Longleat (G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XXVI, 1938, pp 39, 42; Sir William Musgrave, MS lists of portraits, British Museum, Add. MSS 6391, f.226, no.11).

Eastnor Castle in 1958 (letter from Prof. Norman Mackenzie, 22 July 1958, on file).

Doubtful Portrait
Three-quarter length seated attributed to Jacob Huysmans, Christie’s, 1 August 1974, lot 164: Sotheby’s, 12 May 1998, lot 371, inscribed Praecellentissimi Vatis/SAMUELIS BUTLER Calidus excusso populum suspendere Naso’ [The last phrase from Persius, Satires, I, 118, ‘clever at dangling the public from his cleaned-out nose’]


This extended catalogue entry is by John Ingamells, one of a limited number of entries drafted in 2010 for the incomplete catalogue, Early Stuart Portraits 1625-1685, and is as written then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.