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Madame Ellen Groinn

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Madame Ellen Groinn
  • Description

    Nell Gwynn reclining on a bank of flowers beside a pool; she wears a lace smock open to reveal her breasts, the lower part of her body partly covered by lace-edged drapery. A curtain above her head is supported by her elder son, Charles, portrayed as a winged putto, while her younger son James, as Cupid with a bow and flaming torch, hovers above, to right. Charles II stands on the far side of the pool, his cloak held by a small boy; other figures emerging from trees behind; in the distance the upper floors of a large house.
    Etching and engraving


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1677-1680
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 356 millimetres
    • Width: 454 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered: "Madame Ellen Groinn and her troo sons, Charles Earl of Beaufort and James Lord Beauclaire/Henry Gascar Pinxit"
  • Curator's comments

    The print can be dated to between January 1677 when the younger son was given the courtesy title, Lord Beauclaire or Beauclerk, and before his death in 1680. The elder son was known as the Earl of Burford from December 1676 until January 1684 when he was created Duke of St Albans,

  • Location

    British XVIIc Mounted Imp

  • Exhibition history

    2011/12 Oct-Jan, London, National Portrait Gallery, The First Actresses

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    8 April 2009

    Treatment proposal

    Lift from album. Remove debris and adhesive. Surface clean edges. Repair. Mount.


    In album of Burney's Theatrical Portraits. Album is in a poor state. Most prints are adhered to album pages but #93 is too large and at risk of further damage. Guard strip attached along top edge but the print is sewn in along a narrow addition strip. The top edge of the print has been cut at some point and is adhered to the guard strip. Ingrained dirt and foxing in margin. Lot of small edge tears. Vertical fold centre, other small creases.

    Treatment details

    Removed from album by cutting along narrow sewing strip. Margins surface cleaned using Staedter plastic eraser crumbs and a soft Japanese brush. Relaxed and immersed in cold and warm tap water. Guard strips floated off and foxing reduced. Adhesive residue removed with cotton wool swabs whilst still wet. Air dried. Tears and infills supported with Japaanese tissue and wheat starch adhesive. Humidified over capillary matting and Gore-Tex in a chamber. Pressed with template.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: PPA239408

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