Latest London news, sport & entertainment

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

Five-day forecast

A daring portrait of King Charles II’s mistress Nell Gwyn which has not been seen for decades will go on show as part of a new exhibition opening this month.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The painting, by Simon Verelst, which shows Gwyn with her breasts exposed, dates back to around 1680 and was altered at some stage so she was covered up before it was restored.

Gwyn made her name as an actress before becoming Charles IIs mistress in 1669.

Professor Gill Perry, who is curating The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn To Sarah Siddons at the National Portrait Gallery in central London, said: Images such as this rarely seen portrait have contributed to the idea of Nell Gwyn as an early celebrity, whose life story and appearance are known through biographies and salacious gossip.

But she was a shrewd manipulator of her own public image, known not just for her affairs and outspoken views, but also for her acting abilities and famous wit.

The painting, which is owned privately and has been in the same family since the 1940s, will be on show from Thursday.

Latest London art news & reviews

Share this article

submit to reddit submit to Fark

0 comments

LDN24 Promotions

Always wanted to create your own beer? Perfect Pint are giving you the chance.

WIN beer with Beer BingoTM

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

Read full story »

The Week subscription offer

The Week magazine special offer

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

Read full story »

Bird Box, the debut novel penned by Josh Malerman, frontman of Detroit based rock band The High Strung

DON’T OPEN YOUR EYES

London24 has teamed up with HarperCollins to offer a free Amazon Kindle taster of Bird Box, the debut novel penned by Josh Malerman, frontman of Detroit based rock band The High Strung.

Read full story »

Things to do