Oliver Cromwell: Images of Political Power

How do we represent those in political power?

Images have always been used to carry messages about people and objects. Today, pictures of leaders often show them in carefully presented situations, to appeal to as many people as possible. Images of Oliver Cromwell from the British Library, provide a unique insight into how a political leader might represent himself in the 17th century.

Cromwell was a controversial political leader: a regicidal dictator to some and a hero of liberty to others. He had brought with him the disposal of the monarchy and started a new type of regime. His supporters portrayed him as a strong, stabilizing and stately leader. However, he was also portrayed in a very hostile way by his opponents in the royalist press.

Take a look at Cromwell in three different poses.