Oil on canvas, 127cm by 101.6cm.
Cromwell’s troops stormed Burghley House in 1643 whilst in pursuit of the Royalist Viscount Campden, who had taken refuge at Burghley.
Family tradition has it that this portrait was given by Cromwell to Elizabeth, widow of David, 3rd Earl of Exeter who had recently died and whose fifteen year old son John had just inherited as 4th Earl.
The 1763 Burghley Inventory records: ‘the bed-chamber … Oliver Cromwell by Robert Walker – this was given by the protector to the family.’
Robert Walker, said to have been strongly influenced by the work of Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), is known chiefly for his portraits of Oliver Cromwell and other prominent Parliamentarians during the Interregnum of 1649-1660.