Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Drawing - A Pursuivant from the Garter Procession
  • A Pursuivant from the Garter Procession
    Lely, Peter
  • Enlarge image

A Pursuivant from the Garter Procession

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1660-1670 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lely, Peter (Sir), born 1618 - died 1680 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Black chalk, heightened with white, on blue-grey paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case 12A

Object Type
The drawing shows a partcipant in the Procession of the Order of the Garter. It is one of 31 surviving drawings in which the artist recorded the various participants on their route through the palaces of Westminster. Together they give a vivid impression of the ceremony in the 1660s, some 300 years after the Order had been founded.

The annual Procession of the Order of the Garter was introduced in the mid-14th century and is still held in London on St George's Day, 23 April, every year. During the Civil War and Interregnum, when the monarch was in exile, the Order was suspended. After the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 it was revived and its ceremony duly recommenced, with the King at its head. By way of celebration, a far more elaborate costume was introduced.

The artist, Sir Peter Lely, arrived in London from his native Holland in the early 1640s. In spite of two decades of political uncertainty, by the 1660s he had become the most popular portrait painter in Britain. In 1661 Charles II granted him an annual pension in recognition of his role as Principal Painter. The previous holder of this title was Lely's fellow countryman, Anthony Van Dyck, who died in 1642.

Physical description


Place of Origin

England (made)


1660-1670 (made)


Lely, Peter (Sir), born 1618 - died 1680 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Black chalk, heightened with white, on blue-grey paper

Marks and inscriptions



Height: 49.5 cm excluding mount, Width: 25.1 cm excluding mount

Object history note

Purchased around 1856 (?) from W. Mayor

Drawn in England by Sir Peter Lely (born in Soest, Westphalia, Germany, 1618, died in London, 1680), one of a series of 31 surviving drawings

Descriptive line

Drawing of a Pursuivant from the Garter Procession, drawn in England by Sir Peter Lely, 1660-1670

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Owens, Susan, The Art of Drawing British Masters and Methods since 1600, V&A Publishing, London, 2013, p. 45, fig. 26

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This drawing shows an officer of the College of Arms known as a Pursuivant, from the annual St George's Day procession. After the Restoration the ceremonies of the Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, were revived with great splendour. The artist, Peter Lely has used delicate drawing in chalk to convey the impressive figure of the officer in his formal costume, poised in movement. [27/03/2003]

Subjects depicted

Men; Coats of arms


Drawings; Royalty


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.