John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
5 of 778 portraits matching these criteria:
- subject matching 'Pets and animals - Wild and exotic animals'
- 'Image on website'
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)
Sitterback to top
- John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (1647-1680), Poet and libertine. Sitter in 11 portraits.
This portraitback to top
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.
Linked publicationsback to top
- I-Spy National Portrait Gallery, 2010, p. 17
- Audio Guide
- Smartify image discovery app
- 100 Writers, p. 10
- Cooper, John, Visitor's Guide, 2000, p. 41
- Gibson, Robin, Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery, 1996, p. 45
- John Cooper, National Portrait Gallery Visitor's Guide, 2006, p. 41
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 528
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1665back to top
Current affairsGreat Plague initially breaks out in the deprived parish of St. Giles-in-the-Fields killing thousands. Humphrey Henchman, Bishop of London, takes a leading role in organising collections of money for the poor.
Five Mile Act forbids ejected clergymen from living within five miles of a parish they formerly served.
Art and scienceA New Discourse of Trade, written by Sir Josiah Child, outspokenly advocates for the advantages of free trade.
The first issue of the Royal Society's scientific journal, Philosophical Transactions, is edited by Henry Oldenburg, the Society's Secretary.
InternationalSecond Anglo-Dutch War. Despite England's resounding victory at the first naval encounter, the Battle of Lowestoft, failure to seize the valuable Dutch East Indies fleet by Admiral Edward Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, and subsequent Dutch victory at the battle at Vågen, were considerable setbacks for the English.
Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs
Test your memory by playing our matching pairs game. Three levels of difficulty make it fun for the whole family.
Regency familiar faces
Rearrange tiles to uncover sitters from the Gallery's Collection by playing our puzzle game.
Who do you think you were?
Answer a few lifestyle questions about the Elizabethan period and discover your inner Elizabethan!
- Silhouettes display, 2004-05
- Return to Life: A New Look at the Portrait Bust
- 2019 Anniversaries
- William Hazlitt's Spirit of the Age
- Making History: Printed Portraiture in Tudor and Stuart Britain
- Mary, Queen of Scots: Fact and Fiction
- Restoration Lives: Samuel Pepys and His Circle
- Brilliant Women
- Chartist Portraits
- Mary, Queen of Scots
- Nelson: before and after Trafalgar
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Art Conservation Project
- Rebel women
- Theodore de Mayerne
- Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs
- Popular Prints of Victoria and Albert
- Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
- Searching for Shakespeare
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.