John Donne Portrait Needs Help

You may have noticed my post over at The Anne Boleyn Files about the National Portrait Gallery portrait of Anne Boleyn being in need of urgent restoration work, but it is not the only portrait which needs work. The NPG are also trying to raise funds to start cleaning and conservation work on the late 16th century portrait of John Donne. They have already raised £16,000 but need a further £5,000 to actually begin the work which experts have said “will reveal the true subtleties of this outstandingly important painting”.

The portrait is by an unknown artist and dates back to around 1595. It is of the famous metaphysical poet, John Donne, whose huge list of works include the collection now known as “Divine Poems”.

As you can see, the portrait is very dark, particularly on the right hand side, so I imagine that cleaning and conservation will help it greatly. If you want to donate to this worthy cause, you can find out further information at the NPG website and if you want to spread the word the link is

I’ll leave you with Julian Glover reading John Donne’s “The Flea”, which I remember “critically appreciating” at university!

1 thought on “John Donne Portrait Needs Help

  1. I will do what I can–same with the other one, though AB takes priority for me! Have you read The Lady and the Poet? It’s a wonderful book about John Donne and the woman he marries, against her father’s wishes. By Mauve Haven. Really good!

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