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

King William III

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

King William III

by Thomas Murray
circa 1691
95 7/8 in. x 59 3/4 in. (2435 mm x 1518 mm)
NPG 5496

This portraitback to top

NPG 5496 was originally acquired for the frame, the face having been crudely overpainted to resemble Charles II, but cleaning in 1981 revealed William’s unmistakeable features. The composition matches the whole-length by Murray acquired by the Middle Temple in 1725, [1] although the wig is longer and the setting differs in detail - crown and armour lie behind him and the damask drapery in the background swirls in another direction.
Murray copied Kneller’s 1690 coronation portraits of William and Mary for the Merchant Taylors’ Company in 1697 [2] and for the Fishmongers’ Company.

Footnotesback to top

1) B. Williamson, Catalogue of Paintings and Engravings in the possession of The Hon. Society of the Middle Temple, 1931, p 18. G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XXVI, 1938, p 34, said the painting was by Kneller.
2) Sir George Scharf’s Sketch Books, 59:113 and 111:8; F. M. Fry, Merchant Taylors’ Hall, A Historical Catalogue, 1907, p 27, no.12.

Referenceback to top

NPG Annual Report 1982-83, figs 8, 9.

Simon & Saywell (eds.) 2004
Complete Illustrated Catalogue, NPG, ed. J. Simon & D. Saywell, 2004, p 663.

Provenanceback to top

Purchased from Lady Weir ‘for the reference collection’ in 1944; transferred to the primary collection 1982.

Exhibitionsback to top

Glorious Revolution, Banqueting House, Whitehall, 1988; Kings in Conflict, Belfast, 1990, no.65 as attributed to Murray.


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.

View all known portraits for King William III