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

Painted Ladies: Women at the Court of Charles II

Nell Gwyn
by Simon Verelst
circa 1680
NPG 2496

Past exhibition archive
11 October 2001 - 6 January 2002

Wolfson Gallery

Admission £5, concessions £3


Sponsored by Classic FM & the Corporate Partners of the National Portrait Gallery

The first exploration and reconsideration of Restoration portraiture in nearly 20 years, this exhibition will include some of the most beautiful and fascinating paintings of the period, portraits of women of prominence and influence within the court of Charles II, from royal brides and daughters to mistresses and actresses. By looking at the context in which these portraits were produced, the life-histories of the women and their reputations at the time and subsequently, the exhibition will shed new light on one of the most neglected areas of British art history. The exhibition is co-organised by the National Portrait Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut; it will travel to New Haven in January 2002.


Scientific techniques

Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.

Watch now

Subjects and themes

Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!

Discover the Collection

Black History Month

Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.

Take the tour

A Picture of Health

Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.

Explore the timeline