and the day after sat to one Vanderborcht1 for my picture in oil, at Arundel-house2, whose servant that excellent painter was, brought out of Germany when the Earl returned from Vienna (whither he was sent Ambassador-extraordinary, with great pomp and charge, though without any effect, through the artifice of the Jesuited Spaniard who governed all in that conjuncture).

John Evelyn’s portrait by Van der Borcht

With Vanderborcht, the painter, he brought over Winceslaus Hollar, the sculptor, who engraved not only the unhappy Deputy’s trial in Westminster-hall, but his decapitation; as he did several other historical things, then relating to the accidents happening during the Rebellion in England, with great skill; besides many cities, towns, and landscapes, not only of this nation, but of foreign parts, and divers portraits of famous persons then in being; and things designed from the best pieces of the rare paintings and masters of which the Earl of Arundel was possessor, purchased and collected in his travels with incredible expense: so as, though Hollar’s were but etched in aquafortis3, I account the collection to be the most authentic and useful extant.

Hollar was the son of a gentleman near Prague, in Bohemia, and my very good friend, perverted at last by the Jesuits at Antwerp to change his religion; a very honest, simple, well-meaning man, who at last came over again into England, where he died.

We have the whole history of the king’s reign, from his trial in Westminster-hall and before, to the restoration of King Charles II., represented in several sculptures, with that also of Archbishop Laud, by this indefatigable artist; besides innumerable sculptures4 in the works of Dugdale, Ashmole, and other historical and useful works. I am the more particular upon this for the fruit of that collection, which I wish I had entire.

This picture5 I presented to my sister, being at her request, on my resolution to absent myself from this ill face of things at home, which gave umbrage6 to wiser than myself that the medal was reversing, and our calamities but yet in their infancy:

  1. Hendrik van der Borcht, a painter of Brussels, lived at Frankenthal. Lord Arundel, finding his son at Frankfort, sent him to Mr. Petty, his chaplain and agent, then collecting for him in Italy, and afterwards kept him in his service as long as he lived. The younger Van der Borcht was both painter and engraver; he drew many of the Arundelian curiosities, and etched several things both in that and the Royal Collection. A book of his drawings from the former, containing 567 pieces, is pre-served at Paris ; and is described in the catalogue of L’Orangerie. After the death of the Earl, he entered into the service of the Prince of Wales, afterwards Charles II ., and lived in esteem in London for a considerable time; but returned to Antwerp, and died there in 1660. [Hollar engraved the portrait of both father and son, the former from a picture by the latter.] – Footnote by Austin Dobson 

  2. In the Strand, between Milford Lane and Strand Bridge. Arundel Street, Norfolk Street, Howard Street, and others now occupy the site. – Footnote by Austin Dobson  

  3. a solution of nitric acid (HNO3AD 

  4. [Sculptures = engravings. .Johnson still uses the word in this sense in a letter to Mr. Barnard of May 28, 1768.]  

  5. His own portrait, by Van der Borcht. [It is still in the Picture Gallery at Wotton House.] – Footnote by Austin Dobson 

  6. [Suspicion, foreshadowing. -AD]