Restoration Lives: Samuel Pepys and His Circle
by John Hayls
Past display archive
31 March - 26 October 2003
2003 marks the tercentenary of the death of the famous diarist Samuel Pepys (1633 - 1703). The National Portrait Gallery will be celebrating the occasion with a special display and a two-day conference in September.
Samuel Pepys recorded his observations about life in London after the Restoration at a dramatic moment in history. He was among those who brought Charles II back to England to be crowned King and he watched the fire of London engulf the city in 1666. As a successful civil servant he had access to influential circles and his remarkable diary, begun in 1660, records his relationships with hundreds of men and women of his time. A special display in Room 6 will explore their lives and personalities through Pepys's critical and perceptive eye.
Portraits on display include many of those who knew Pepys well, such as Navy colleagues, actresses, painters, his patron Edward Montagu, (Earl of Sandwich) and the King himself. Pepys's own wife Elizabeth, whom despite his many infidelities, he clearly loved, is represented by a plaster bust. Portraits of his associates Sir John Harman, Sir William Petty, George Monck, (Ist Earl of Albermarle) and the architect Christopher Wren have been brought out of storage especially for this display.
Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.
Subjects and themes
Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!
Black History Month
Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.
A Picture of Health
Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.
- Sir William Petty (NPG 2924)
- Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich (NPG 5488)
- George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle (NPG 423)
- King James II (NPG 5211)
- Sir John Harman (NPG 1419)
- Samuel Pepys (NPG 211)
- Elizabeth Pepys (NPG 4824)
- Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury (NPG 3893)
- King Charles II (NPG 3798)
- Sir Christopher Wren (NPG 4500)
- Departure from Holland to England (King Charles II) (NPG D1329)
- Alexander Browne (NPG D1122)
- Catherine of Braganza (NPG D11409)
- Sir Frescheville Holles (NPG D11435)
- Craufurd Tait Ramage (NPG D5589)
- George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle
- Alexander Browne
- Catherine of Braganza
- King Charles II
- Sir John Harman
- Sir Frescheville Holles
- King James II
- Elizabeth Pepys
- Samuel Pepys
- Sir William Petty
- Craufurd Tait Ramage
- Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich
- Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury
- Sir Christopher Wren