King Charles II

1 portrait

King Charles II, after Sir Peter Lely, (circa 1675) - NPG 153 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

King Charles II

after Sir Peter Lely
oil on canvas, feigned oval, (circa 1675)
29 1/2 in. x 24 3/4 in. (749 mm x 629 mm)
Purchased, 1863
Primary Collection
NPG 153

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Sitterback to top

  • King Charles II (1630-1685), Reigned 1660-85. Sitter associated with 292 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 829 portraits, Sitter in 18 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Charles spent his youth in exile on the continent, but remained resourceful and optimistic. He was restored to the throne in 1660, amid great rejoicing, but with limitations on his powers. He became adept at out-manoeuvring the opposition to his policies, particularly in matters of religion and foreign affairs. His brilliant court was notorious for its easy-going morality; the King had fourteen children by various mistresses, but no legitimate heir. He was succeeded on the throne by his brother James.

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