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Image WarsKings and Commonwealths in England, 1603-1660$
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Kevin Sharpe

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780300162004

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300162004.001.0001

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Painting Protectoral Power

Painting Protectoral Power

(p.493) Chapter 17 Painting Protectoral Power
Image Wars

Kevin Sharpe

Yale University Press

This chapter describes the different aspects of the visual imaging of Oliver Cromwell in England. One of the things best known about Oliver Cromwell's visual image is known through his supposed instruction to the artist Peter Lely. The warts-and-all Cromwell has passed into history as the plain man, the plain speaker, and plain captain who only reluctantly took the reins of government. During the 1640s, and in the particular case of the medal to commemorate the victory at Dunbar in 1650, Cromwell had resisted a prominent image of him and had advised collective representations of parliament and the army. The visual representations of the Protector in portraits and engravings, as on seals, medals, and coins, were devised to sustain and enhance his authority in shifting historical circumstances no less than the earlier images of kings from which they borrowed.

Keywords:   Oliver Cromwell, imaging, government, parliament

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