MARVELL, ANDREW (1621-1678)
PORTRAIT BY AN UNKNOWN ARTIST, engraving, head and shoulders, turned to the left and facing forwards, the frontispiece to his Miscellaneous Poems, 1681, engraver unknown, framed and glazed, size of image 9 x 6 ½ inches (24 x 27 cm), overall 17 ¾ x 15 inches (45 x 38 cm), 1681
'The engraving of Marvell that was published as the frontispiece to the Miscellaneous Poems must be considered as the touchstone for all other representations whatever, since it was executed for his housekeeper (or wife) less than three years after his death. If it were spurious, the fact would probably have been noted by one of the many people still living at the time who had known him. Though in some ways akin to the Holles portrait (NPG), the engraving is probably based on the Nettleton one: the anonymous engraver has reversed the image by cutting his block directly after the portrait, and has altered the original in other ways. These include giving the subject a cloak over his jacket, bringing into prominence a row of buttons not easily visible there, discarding the skull cap and giving the hair the appearance of a peruke. Perhaps this last touch, together with the slight ageing that can be detected in the features, represents an attempt to bring the early Restoration image closer to his actual appearance at death'.
No example of this engraving is in the National Portrait Gallery.
REFERENCE: W. H. Kelliher, Andrew Marvell: Poet and Politician, 1978, p. 124.