1 of 30 portraits of Nell Gwyn
attributed to Simon Verelst
oil on canvas, circa 1670
36 3/4 in. x 29 1/2 in. (935 mm x 748 mm)
Lent by a private collection, 2012
Sitterback to top
- Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn (1651?-1687), Actress; mistress of Charles II. Sitter associated with 30 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Simon Verelst (circa 1644-circa 1710), Artist. Artist or producer associated with 7 portraits.
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Exposed: The Naked Portrait (9 January 2016 - 11 September 2016)
Events of 1670back to top
Current affairsCharles II mistress, Barbara Villiers, is created Duchess of Cleveland and granted Nonsuch Palace including its sizeable grounds.
Actress and royal mistress, Nell Gwyn, gives birth to Charles II's son, Charles, who would later become, Duke of St. Albans.
Art and scienceTragicomedy, The Forc'd Marriage, by Aphra Behn, staged by the Duke's Company, starts Behn's career as a professional writer. The writer may have been a royalist spy towards the end of the interregnum.
Poet laureate, John Dryden, is made historiographer royal, a post he would hold for nearly 20 years.
InternationalTerms of a secret treaty between Charles II and Louis XIV are brought by Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans during a visit to Dover; upon England supplying the majority of military power for a war against Holland and Charles's official conversion to Catholicism, France would assist financially.
View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.
Artist and sitter interviews
Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.
Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.