The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), Diarist and naval administrator

Two paintings by Savill of Cheapside, one with a lute, the other ‘in little’.
Sittings for a larger picture began on 27 November 1661 and 3 December (‘I fear it will not be like me’); on 6 January 1662 Pepys brought his lute to the studio, staying ‘all the morning to see him paint the neck of my lute in my picture, which I was not pleased with after it was done’; he paid Savill £6 on January for his own and his wife’s picture and remarked that his own was ‘well liked’ (24 January).
He ‘sat for the first time for my picture in little, which pleaseth me well’ on 20 February 1662, thereafter on 24 February, 5 March and the last time on 14 April.
Pepys held a limited opinion of Savill; ‘though a very honest man, I found to be very silly as to matter of skill in shadows, for we were in long discourse, till I was almost angry to hear him talk so simply’ (28 January 1662).

Painting, seated three-quarter-length, left hand on map, a guitar on the table and globe by his side (30 x 25 cm). Mrs Ronald Crichton, in 1970 (illus. Samuel Pepys Esqre, exhibition catalogue, NPG, 1970, p 3); engraved T. Bragg c.1825 as from the collection of S. P. Cockerell. A bust-length variant on copper (14 x 11.5 cm) belonged to R. H. Muir in 1970 (illus. Samuel Pepys Esqre, exhibition catalogue, NPG, 1970, p 2). These are pedestrian portraits, but both at one time were in the Pepys-Cockerell collection. While it is tempting to identify them as the Savill portraits of 1661-62 (cf. D. Dale, Notes and Queries, 7 September 1940, p 165-67, and D. Pepys Whiteley, Country Life, 6 April 1961, p 780), Pepys’s wig and the objects surrounding him go against this, as was demonstrated by Richard Barber in Samuel Pepys Esqre, exhibition catalogue, NPG, 1970, p 4.

Painting by John Hayls, see NPG 211.

A cast of his face made by ‘the plaisterer’s at Charing Cross’ (10, 15 February 1669, illus. Samuel Pepys Esqre, exhibition catalogue, NPG, 1970, p 4).

Ivory medallion by Jean Cavalier. Clothworkers’ Company. A cast is in the Pepys Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge. Kneller had advised Pepys to sit to Cavalier, but then advised him that the charge was exorbitant (Samuel Pepys Esqre, exhibition catalogue, NPG, 1970, p 7; letter from Kneller to Pepys, 16 January 1690, in R. G. Howarth ed., Letters and Second Diary of Samuel Pepys, 1932, p 213).

Painting by Godfrey Kneller, bust-length in painted oval, a copy of the painter’s original signature and date verso. National Maritime Museum (BHC2947; J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.564; illus. Samuel Pepys Esqre, exhibition catalogue, NPG, 1970, p 3). Exhibited First Special Exhibition of National Portraits ( ... ending with the reign of James the second), South Kensington, 1867, no.950; Age of Charles II, RA, 1960, no.156. Engraved R. White 1690 (for Pepys’s Memoires of the Royal Navy); T. Bragg 1827. A copy inscribed D.SAMUEL PEPYS ARMIG./REG.SOC.PRAESES. ANO.1684. presented to the Royal Society by the sitter (N. H. Robinson, The Royal Society Catalogue of Portraits, 1980, pp 240-41, illus.; Samuel Pepys Esqre, exhibition catalogue, NPG, 1970, p 5, illus.); a watercolour copy by G. P. Harding ‘From the original in the Royal Society London’ with Ken Spelman Books, York, in 2006. Two more copies are in the Government Art Collection (4062 and 4450), both presented to the Admiralty by J. W. Croker c.1825; later copies are at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and in a private collection (illus. Samuel Pepys Esqre, exhibition catalogue, NPG, 1970, p 4).
Pepys’s book plate, a bust-length oval engraved by R. White, was closely based on the Kneller; a preliminary drawing by White, which Wark considered possibly an ad vivum study, is in the Huntington Library, San Marino CA (R. Wark, Early British Drawings in the Huntington Collection 1600-1750, 1969, p 60, H, illus.).

Painting attributed to Riley, see NPG 2100.

Painting attributed to Riley, see NPG 2092.

‘I shall employ Mr Robinson to draw the pictures of Mr Pepys and Mr Littleton [Sir Thomas Littleton MP] and to begin tomorrow with Mr Pepys’ Sir William Boothe to Col. James Graham, 14 June 1699 (Capt. J. F. Bagot MSS in HMC 10th Report, app.iv, 1885, p 334).

Later commemorations include a memorial by Arthur Blomfield 1884 in St Olave’s, Hart Street (where Pepys and his wife were buried), and a bust by Karen Jonzen 1983 installed nearby in Seething Lane Garden, London. A medal by Philip Nathan was commissioned in 2003 by the Samuel Pepys Club (illus. The Medal, autumn 2003, p 96).

Painting by Antonio Verrio, James II giving audience to the Governors, masters, boys and girls of Christ’s Hospital, c.1682-88; Christ’s Hospital, Horsham, where installed 1902 having been moved from London (E. Croft-Murray, Decorative Painting in England, I, Early Tudor to Sir James Thornhill, 1962, I, p 238b, and E. Croft-Murray, Decorative Painting in England, II, The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, 1970, p 318a); Pepys appears standing to the left of the King, a scroll in his right hand and an unfurled navigational chart of the British Isles in his left. A bodycolour copy which once belonged to Samuel Pepys is in the Yale Center for British Art (B1977.14.6307; P. J. Noon, English Portrait Drawings & Miniatures, 1979, no.17).
Pepys appears, a profile head to the left of the King, in one of the plates for Sandford’s History of the Coronation of James II, 1687 (detail illus. Samuel Pepys Esqre, exhibition catalogue, NPG, 1970, p 6).

Doubtful Portraits
A painting after Lely c.1670, standing three-quarter-length, right hand at breast, left hand on hip, in Magdalene College, Cambridge (illus. Samuel Pepys Esqre, exhibition catalogue, NPG, 1970, p 2; R. B. Beckett, Lely, 1951, no.417), using a pose taken from Lely’s 2nd Earl of Sandwich of c.1670 (R. B. Beckett, Lely, 1951, pl.116).

Unattributed painting, half-length, resting his right arm on pilaster, open sea to the right. Magdalene College, Cambridge, 1998 (illus. The Times, 12 February 1998, p 41; CAM 1999, p 3).

Unattributed early 18th-century painting, standing three-quarter-length, right hand on an open book. Magdalene College, Cambridge, from the Badminton Club, sold Christie’s, 7 December 1938, lot 91 as a gentleman by Kneller (illus. Samuel Pepys Esqre, exhibition catalogue, NPG, 1970, p 8).

Unattributed small half-length painting, given to the Clothworkers’ Company in 1945 (D. E. Wickham, Clothworkers’ Hall Portraits, 1997, pp 128-29, no.64, illus.).

Ivory medallion by David Le Marchand 1700-05. British Museum (458; C. Avery, David le Marchand 1674-1726, 1996, pl.1, no.40).

This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, and is as published 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.