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Isaac Barrow

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Isaac Barrow

by David Loggan
plumbago on vellum, 1676
5 1/8 in. x 4 1/4 in. (129 mm x 108 mm) oval
Purchased, 1920
Primary Collection
NPG 1876

Sitterback to top

  • Isaac Barrow (1630-1677), Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. Sitter associated with 12 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • David Loggan (1634-1692), Artist and engraver. Artist associated with 191 portraits.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Piper, David, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, 1625-1714, 1963, p. 19
  • Rogers, Malcolm, Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, 1993 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 August to 23 October 1994), p. 31
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 36
  • Walker, Richard, Miniatures: 300 Years of the English Miniature, 1998, p. 41 Read entry

    As a preacher Barrow's sermons were famous, as a mathematician he was second only to Isaac Newton and as classical scholar he was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he founded the celebrated Wren Library. His mastery of repartee floored the famous Restoration wit and libertine the Earl of Rochester. And his bravery and physical strength were phenomenal, enabling him to subdue a boatload of Alegerian pirates and to quell an attacking mastiff. He died unexpectedly, aged forty-seven, from over-exertion.

    Plumbago miniatures were popular, especially in England, during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. They were drawn rather in the manner of line engravings, with a graphite or plumbago pencil, using a form of carbon mined near Borrowdale in Cumberland. David Loggan, of Scottish descent born in Danzig, was trained by the Dutch engravers Willem Hondius and Crispin van de Passe, and came to London at the Restoration. His portrait drawings were prized by collectors, but his main work was engraving and he is perhaps best known for his Oxonia Illustrate (1675) and Cantabrigia Illustrata (1694), which contain marvellously precise and meticulous topographical line engravings of the two universities. This striking portrait of the master was engraved by Loggan himself, ad vivem delin 1667. for the frontispiece to Barrow's Several Sermons (1678).

Events of 1676back to top

Current affairs

Following her recent arrival in England at the invitation of courtier Ralph Montagu, Hortense Mancini, Duchess of Mazarin, niece of Cardinal Mazarin, becomes the king's newest mistress.

Art and science

Oculist, William Briggs publishes, Ophthalmographia, an anatomical description of the eye, dedicating it to his patron, Ralph Montagu, Duke of Montagu.
Restoration comedy, The Plain-Dealer, by William Wycherley, is staged. Widely admired by his supportive friends, the play's innovative theatrical conventions confused audiences.


Diplomat, Sir Leoline Jenkins, acts as a plenipotentiary in peace negotiations at Nijmegen to settle interrelated conflicts between European states, including the Franco-Dutch war. However, the imperial delegation refused to formally recognise Jenkins and Temple's involvement, and they are ultimately forced to withdraw.

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