King Charles I
13 of 334 portraits of King Charles I
King Charles I
by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, late 17th century or early 18th century
33 in. x 29 in. (838 mm x 737 mm)
Given by Mme Jean Hugo in memory of Hedley Hope Nicholson, 1971
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This portraitback to top
This posthumous portrait of Charles I is one of many that celebrates the dead king as a martyr. The composition seems to be based on a print by William Faithorne Jr. The scroll reads 'Corruptibilem pro Incorruptibile', which is a Latin version of the words spoken by Charles I at his execution: 'I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown'. The sunburst frame gives an impression of heavenly light. Like a monstrance in a church, it marks the picture out as an object of veneration.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 116
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1670back to top
Current affairsCharles II mistress, Barbara Villiers, is created Duchess of Cleveland and granted Nonsuch Palace including its sizeable grounds. Actress and royal mistress, Nell Gwyn, gives birth to Charles II's son, Charles, who would later become, Duke of St. Albans.
Art and scienceTragicomedy, The Forc'd Marriage, by Aphra Behn, staged by the Duke's Company, starts Behn's career as a professional writer. The writer may have been a royalist spy towards the end of the interregnum. Poet laureate, John Dryden, is made historiographer royal, a post he would hold for nearly 20 years.
InternationalTerms of a secret treaty between Charles II and Louis XIV are brought by Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans during a visit to Dover; upon England supplying the majority of military power for a war against Holland and Charles's official conversion to Catholicism, France would assist financially.
Exhibitions and displays
- Framing the Face: Collars and Ruffs
Until 16 July
- Reproducing Fame: Printmakers and the Nineteenth Century Stage
Until 2 July
- Portrait of the Day: Augustus Pugin
31 January, 12:30