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Early Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), Lord Protector of England

1649
Miniature by Samuel Cooper, see NPG 5589.

Painting by Robert Walker, see under NPG 536.

c.1650-56
Medals and coins by Thomas Simon, see NPG 747, NPG 1486, NPG 4068, NPG 4366.

c.1653
Miniature by Samuel Cooper, see under NPG 3065.

Painting by Peter Lely, half-length in armour, signed, Birmingham Art Gallery (P27’49; D. Piper, ‘The contemporary Portraits of Oliver Cromwell’, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1958, p 31, no.5a, pl.ixa; exh. Sir Peter Lely, NPG, 1978, no.22), the head derived from Cooper’s miniature of c.1653, but lengthened and with more hair, cf. NPG 3065 above. Engraved by Faber II in 1735 and 1740 as painted in 1653 (F. O’Donoghue & H. M. Hake, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits in the ... British Museum, 14, 16, J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 96, 97).

The many versions include those in the Pitti Palace, Florence (LC49; K. Pearson & G. K. Morant, ‘Portraiture of Oliver Cromwell’, Biometrica, XXVI, 1935, pl.xli; exh. Firenze e l’Inghilterra, 1971, no.17), NG Ireland (505 and 249, bust-length), Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (J. W. Goodison, Catalogue of the Portraits in Christ’s, Clare and Sidney Sussex Colleges, 1985, pp 74-75, no.153), Auckland Art Gallery, Boston MA, Museum of Fine Arts (RES 33.216), the Geffrye Museum, and the Museum of London (46.78/526).

Three-quarter length variants, none apparently by Lely, are in the Uffizi, Florence (LC940; three-quarter length; D. Piper, ‘The contemporary Portraits of Oliver Cromwell’, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1958, p 32, no.6, pl.ixc; exh. Firenze e l’Inghilterra, 1971, no.18), and in the Hanbury-Williams collection (D. Piper, ‘The contemporary Portraits of Oliver Cromwell’, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1958, under no.5b; exh. ‘A Loan Exhibition of of the Principal Contemporary Portraits of Oliver Cromwell’, NPG, 1958, no.12).

Whole-length versions using the pose of Van Dyck’s 1st Duke of Hamilton (Vaduz Castle; Millar 2004, iv.110), were sold Christie’s, 16 June 2005(207) and 23 January 2007(25), from the Bastard(?) and Bob Jones University collections (D. Piper, ‘The contemporary Portraits of Oliver Cromwell’, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1958, under no.5b, pl.ixb?). A close version, signed and dated 1736 by Charles Jervas, is at Hagley.

The celebrated story, first recounted by Vertue in 1721 (G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XVIII, 1930, p 91), of Cromwell sitting to Lely: ‘For when he sate to him Oliver said to him Mr:Lilly I desire you woud use all your skill to paint my picture truly like me & not Flatter me at all. But (pointing to his own face) remark all these ruffness pimples warts & every thing as you see me. Otherwise I will not pay a farthing for it’ - would seem more appropriate for Cooper’s meticulous observation.

c.1653?
Painting, whole-length equestrian, showing London and the Thames behind him, rather crude; Cromwell Museum, Huntingdon (illus. P. Gaunt, Oliver Cromwell, 2004, p 79).

c.1653
Equestrian whole length, engraving by P. Lombart (K. Pearson & G. K. Morant, ‘Portraiture of Oliver Cromwell’, Biometrica, XXVI, 1935, pl.xivb). The Walker head superimposed on Van Dyck’s Charles I with M. de St Antoine (Millar 2004, iv.47). Lombart’s plate was subsequently successively altered to Louis XIV, Gustavus Adolphus and Charles I (G. S. Layard, Catalogue raisonné of engraved British portraits from altered plates, 1927, no.35).

c.1655
Miniature by Samuel Cooper, see NPG 5274.

c.1655?
Bronze life? mask, Chequers Court. D. Piper, ‘The contemporary Portraits of Oliver Cromwell’, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1958, p 32, suggested this was a posthumous study for, or from, the 1672 bronze bust by Pearce (and see N. Penny, Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum ..., III, 1992, p 42).

1656
Miniature by Samuel Cooper, see NPG 3065.

1657
Painting by Edward Mascall, half-length, left hand at breast, Cromwell Museum, Huntingdon (illus. Connoiseur, 164, Jan. 1967, p 48). Vertue (G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XVIII, 1930, p 107) recorded a portrait of Cromwell by Mascall, engr. c.1660 by James Gammon as belonging to the Duke of Chandos.

c.1658
‘Small head’ by C. G. Cibber, formerly with Dr Mead, his sale, 11 March 1755 (sale cat. p 252).

Posthumous
1658

Mask.

The relationship of NPG 4025 and NPG 1238 to any original death mask remains unclear. For a general discussion, see K. Pearson & G. K. Morant, ‘Portraiture of Oliver Cromwell’, Biometrica, XXVI, 1935, pp 30-39, 75, 91-97, pls.lxix-lxxiv (profuse), and D. Piper, ‘The contemporary Portraits of Oliver Cromwell’, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1958, pp 36, 37, 41, nos.11-13 (succinct).

A funeral effigy by Thomas or Abraham Simon was displayed in State at Somerset House from 18 October 1658 and accompanied a state funeral procession to Westminster Abbey on 23 November. It was said to have been destroyed in the rejoicings following the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, but was also said to have been in the possession of Charles II in 1663.1

Pearson & Morant identified no original death mask. The most satisfactory they listed as the Chequers Court ‘life mask’, supposed to have been taken in 1655 by request of Cromwell’s family (K. Pearson & G. K. Morant, ‘Portraiture of Oliver Cromwell’, Biometrica, XXVI, 1935, pp 91, 115, pls.lxii-lxiv), but Piper in 1958 (D. Piper, ‘The contemporary Portraits of Oliver Cromwell’, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1958, pp 32, 41) believed it to be a posthumous study or cast relating to the 1672 bust by Edward Pearce (cf. NPG 3087). The (hairless) bust in the Bargello, Florence, supposedly based on a death mask taken immediately after Cromwell’s death (K. Pearson & G. K. Morant, ‘Portraiture of Oliver Cromwell’, Biometrica, XXVI, 1935, p 92, pls.lxxxii,lxxxiii; D. Piper, ‘The contemporary Portraits of Oliver Cromwell’, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1958, p 37, no.13), remains enigmatic (cf. NPG 1238). The ‘contemporary’ death mask in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, shows no wart and may have been taken ‘7 to 11 days’ after Cromwell’s death (K. Pearson & G. K. Morant, ‘Portraiture of Oliver Cromwell’, Biometrica, XXVI, 1935, pp 93-94, pls.lxix,lxx; D. Piper, ‘The contemporary Portraits of Oliver Cromwell’, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1958, no.12), see NPG 4025 and NPG 1238.

1 C. Huyghens, Oeuvres complètes de Christian Huyghens, IV, 1891, p 362.

1659
Sardonyx cameo by Thomas Simon, Hermitage State Museum (illus. Allen & Dukelskaya 1996, p 144).

1672
Bronze bust by Edward Pearce, signed and dated, the Museum of London (illus. Wal. Soc., XI, 1923, pl.xxiib). A marble version at Gosford House, and see under NPG 132, NPG 438, NPG 3087.

pre-1732?
Terracotta bust by J. M. Rysbrack National Maritime Museum (illus M. Baker, Figured in Marble, The Making and Viewing of eighteenth-century Sculpture, 2000, p 134 as ‘1735’), probably Rysbrack sale, 14 February 1767, lot 61; versions include those at Adderbury, Oxon., where seen in 1740 (Loveday, p 476), and sold Christie’s, 22 May 1967, lot 6, 10 July 1978, lot 242, and 5 April 2001, lot 311. A small terracotta in the Government Art Collection (MN.12352; Foreign Office, London).

In 1732 Vertue (G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XXII, 1934, p 57) listed Cromwell among those subjects modelled by Rysbrack.

Bronze bust by J. M. Rysbrack ‘with a carved truss’, Trinity College, Cambridge, lent to the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford, 1967-2004. Another, or the same, Rysbrack sale, 20 April 1765, lot 74.

Other marble busts by Rysbrack, variants of the two previous types, are in the Lady Lever Art Gallery (LL195) and the Huntington Art Gallery, San Marino (80.19; illus. Huntington Art Collections Handbook, 1986, p 59).

1759
Marble bust by Francis Harwood, signed and dated, from Lord Brabourne’s collection, sold Sotheby’s NY, 10 January 1995(66). Closely resembling the bust now attributed to Nollekens in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (N. Penny, Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum ..., III, 1992, pp 142-43; D. Piper, ‘The contemporary Portraits of Oliver Cromwell’, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1958, no.11 as Pearce), and see NPG 132.

pre-1762
Terracotta bust by J-F. Roubiliac, British Museum (MA1762,5-28,7; A. Dawson, Portrait Sculpture, A catalogue of the British Museum collection c.1675-1975, 1999, p 77) ex-Roubiliac sale, Langford’s, 2nd day, 13 May 1762, lot 84. Also in his sale were two medals (lots 23, 24), and a bas-relief (lot 92), and on 4th day, 15th May, lot 33, a medal. A plaster medallion is in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.

1762
Marble bust by Joseph Wilton (VAM A32-1930) and terracotta (VAM A72-1965), Victoria and Albert Museum (D. Bilbey, British Sculpture 1470-2000, a concise catalogue of the collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, p 163). A signed version in the Government Art Collection (274) in the Foreign Office, London.

c.1777
Bust by Joseph Nollekens, Belvoir Castle.

later-18th-century
Marble half-length, House of Commons; from the collections of R. C. Barnett; Lord Revelstoke, his sale, Christie’s, 28 June 1893, lot 140, bt Wertheimer; presented to the House by Charles Wertheimer 1899 in recognition of Cromwell’s treatment of the Jews (illus. MA, 25, 1899, p 48, as by Bernini). Mrs R. L. Poole (Wal. Soc., XI, 1923, p 40) considered it to be based on the Pearce bust of 1672 and just possibly by Wilton c.1760. Mrs Esdaile suggested an attribution to Edward Marshall (Walker 1961, p 19).

c.1787
Two Wedgwood medallions (R. Reilly & G. Savage, Wedgwood, the Portrait Medallions, 1973, p 116).

19th/20th century Images
Sculpture included
1850
Plaster bust by Patric Park, NGS Edinburgh; exh. RSA Edinburgh 1850, no.465.

Marble bust by Matthew Noble, Sotheby’s 8 September 1976, lot 30. A related plaster sold from the Reform Club, Manchester, in 1987.

1860
Marble bust by Matthew Noble, Victoria and Albert Museum (VAM 448-1884: D. Bilbey, British Sculpture 1470-2000, a concise catalogue of the collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, p 346). Versions in the Reform Club, London, and Manchester Town Hall (Wyke & Cocks 1988, p 39).

c.1871-81
Stone statue by Alexander Brodie, within the Walter Scott monument, Edinburgh.

1875
Bronze statue by Matthew Noble, right hand on sword, Wythenshawe Park, Manchester (Wyke & Cocks, 1988, pp 152-54).

1899
Bronze statue by Hamo Thornycroft, with Bible and sword, Palace Yard, Westminster.

Bronze statue by John Bell, left hand at breast holding gloves, Warrington, Lancs.

1901
Bronze statue by F. W. Pomeroy, wearing wide-brimmed hat, a Bible under his right arm, St Ives, Cambs.

Paintings included
1783
Benjamin West, Cromwell dissolving Parliament, Art Museum, Montclair NJ (Erffa & Staley 1986, no.83).

1828
Eugène Delacroix, Cromwell at Windsor, Christie’s, 20 June 2002, lot 134.

1831
Paul Delaroche, Cromwell before the Coffin of Charles I, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nîmes; replicas in the Hamburg Kunsthalle, and sold Sotheby’s, 28 November 1979, lot 13.

1836
Daniel Maclise, Charles I with his Children before Cromwell, NG Ireland (1208).

1874
Ford Madox Brown, Cromwell on his Farm, Lady Lever Art Gallery (LL 3641).


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.