King Charles II

1 portrait on display at

King Charles II, by John Michael Wright, circa 1660-1665 - NPG 531 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

King Charles II

by John Michael Wright
oil on canvas, circa 1660-1665
49 3/4 in. x 39 3/4 in. (1264 mm x 1010 mm)
Transferred from British Museum, 1879
Primary Collection
NPG 531


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Sitterback to top

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

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

This portrait of the king in garter robes shows him as he appeared to his subjects at the Restoration, a tall and imposing man in his thirties; in old age Charles's features would show the ravages of personal indulgence. The portrait is in an exceptional frame of the 1680s or 1690s in an idiom associated with Sir Christopher Wren's woodcarvers. It has cherubs on either side of a shell at the top, more cherubs on the sides and at the bottom, swags of fruit and festoons on ribbons at the top and sides, and additional swags at the bottom.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Gibson, Robin, Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery, 1996, p. 43
  • Hart-Davis, Adam, Chain Reactions, 2000, p. 22
  • Ollard, Richard, Character Sketches: Samuel Pepys and His Circle, 2000, p. 29
  • Perry, Gill (introduction) Roach, Joseph (appreciation) and West, Shearer (appreciation), The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 2011 to 8 January 2012), p. 72
  • Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 103
  • Piper, David, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, 1625-1714, 1963, p. 67
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 116
  • Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 14
  • Williamson, David, The National Portrait Gallery: History of the Kings and Queens of England, 1998, p. 117
  • Williamson, David, Kings and Queens, 2010, p. 115