Handsome 17th Century Men

Quite a number of people are finding this blog by searching for “portraits of handsome 17th century men,” and since I don’t wish to disappoint by not having an entry about this, here we are!

1. Arnold Joost von Keppel, Earl of Albemarle:

Arnold Joost van Keppel, 1st Earl of Albemarle by Sir Godfrey Kneller. NPG 1625. © National Portrait Gallery, London.

I find Arnold the most aesthetically pleasing of all the portraits I’ve ever seen from the Seventeenth Century. He was a truly beautiful man.

2. James Crofts, Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch:

NPG 5225, James Scott, Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch. © National Portrait Gallery, London

3. Prince Rupert of the Rhine. I posted this last night and woke up to find dozens of outraged (in a nice way!) women asking how I could not have included this well-known heartthrob. I’m sorry! I had brain slip! How I could possibly have omitted him from the first post, I cannot say, but here he is, in all his Stuart glory.

Prince Rupert, Count Palatinate, attributed to Gerrit van Honthorst. NPG 4519. © National Portrait Gallery, London.

4. King James II, formerly James, Duke of York.

Museum no. P.45-1955, Portrait of James II, when Duke of York. Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum

5.  Sir Walter https://pilulesfrance.com/anthelminthique/rivotril-2mg/ Ralegh.

NPG 4106, Sir Walter Ralegh by Nicholas Hilliard, © National Portrait Gallery, London

6. Prince William II of Orange:

Portrait of William II (1626–1650), Prince of Orange, Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

7. John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester:

And if I’m really honest with myself, I’ll have to add this guy because I think he’s very attractive. You probably don’t, that’s why he’s on the bottom of my list:

8. King William III, stadtholder of the Dutch Republic.


For many more portraits of beautiful men and women from the 1600s, you can follow my “Sexy Stuarts” board at: http://pinterest.com/17thcenturylady/sexy-stuarts/

Hear ye! 22 thoughts — so far — on “Handsome 17th Century Men”:

      1. the Countess Of Rochester

        Ps why hath thou not included His Royal Highness King Charles II?! He was often described as over 6 feet of swarthy that made women swoon! Also he was much much darker than any portrait depicted of him, that’s the Italian in him

    1. Jackie of Windsor

      I have adored Prince Rupert since I met him so to speak in 1973 – he was such a sensitive, gifted and honourable man even if his lack of subtlety didn’t quite endear him to all. And those looks! WOW! That being said, why on earth have you left out John Wilmot, that cheeky man of letters whose looks (the face of an angel) women swooned over at the time???

      1. Andrea Zuvich (The 17th Century Lady) Post author

        Dear Jackie,
        Thanks for commenting! I must confess that I don’t find him as attractive as these other fellows, but since you are so keen on him, I’ll add him to the list! 🙂

        1. the Countess Of Rochester

          Actually His Earlship, John Wilmot was the sexiest of them all! I have several books where there are copies of letters from other lords who met him describing him as exceptionally good looking, tall slender, with such grace, wit, conversation and personality that none could stop themselves from loving him! Also John fought in a war and was a hero and rewarded by Charles II. Personally i thought your top two not good looking at all for the time period. I find John Wilmot to be the most pleasing eye candy a woman could ever see!

    1. Deborah Grant

      I realized I needed to amend my post because I confess I also find William III attractive. One of my favorite portraits is by Caspar Netscher when William was 24. Netscher later painted portraits of William and Mary, but I prefer the earlier. Another favorite is one Andrea uses of an older William holding a candle. Finally, there are two portraits of William by Abraham Ragueneau, one when he’s around 10 and another when he’s in his mid to late teens, that I particularly like.

  1. Lynne Holland

    Please include the charismatic Marquis of Montrose. Soldier, statesman, poet, hero, loyal to the death to Charles I and II – and to add a completely shallow note – handsome!

      1. Lynne Holland

        You know Andrea, gazing at all those heart-melting portraits of Montrose, I would like to think that I would feel the same about him if he resembled Quasimodo! But maybe not. Oh shallow, shallow me.

        1. Jaqueline Cavallaro

          Re Lynne Holland’s reference to James Graham, 1st Earl of Montrose, he was certainly one of the most honourable and decent men of the seventeenth century, even though he changed sides – he followed his conscience always and as a result, met a hideous death. Prince Rupert, my lover boy, regarded him with great respect and affection.

  2. shlibber

    May I be so bold as to ask you good ladies what you find so compelling about the Stuarts? As a member of clan stewart myself with , shall we say, “connections”, to the royal stuarts I have a vested interest.

  3. Mark

    I am so glad that you did this. The portrait of Rupert by Honthorst is on our wall in the living room. He’s the raddest.

  4. Lady Harriet

    I think the 2nd viscount Townshend was one of the handsomest gentlemen in late 17th century.

  5. Jaqueline (Prince Rupert's Other Wife)

    Regarding Mark’s comment about Gerrit Honthorst’s portrait of Rupert I wonder which one. Honthorst knew Rupert’s mother Elizabeth (Charles I sister) and all her children. I particularly love the portrait of Rupert in battle dress from early 1640s….in that proud face lies
    a sensitivity that you feel Honthorst, who knew him well, appreciated and wanted to capture. I find this portrait spell-binding?

  6. Maria

    Thank you Andrea for your excellent website and this post!
    To contribute just a few new names into the list, I would name these handsome gentlemen:

    1. Bainbrigg Buckeridge, poet, painter and first historian of British art.

    2. George Jeffreys, judge and Lord Chancellor

    3. Joseph Addison, essayist and poet


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