Oliver Cromwell

LL 195


Rysbrack is known to have made a number of busts of Cromwell. They were often bought by 18th-century Whig collectors as parts of groups of English ‘worthies', to decorate their houses and so demonstrate their political allegiance. This bust appears to derive not from a contemporary sculpture of Cromwell but from a portrait painted by Peter Lely in 1653, which is known in many versions and frequently engraved.