King James I of England and VI of Scotland

1 portrait on display in Room 4 at the National Portrait Gallery

King James I of England and VI of Scotland, by Daniel Mytens, 1621 - NPG 109 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

King James I of England and VI of Scotland

by Daniel Mytens
oil on canvas, 1621
58 1/2 in. x 39 5/8 in. (1486 mm x 1006 mm)
Purchased, 1860
Primary Collection
NPG 109


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  • Daniel Mytens (1590-1647), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 51 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.

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James was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots and her second husband, Lord Darnley. He became king of Scotland at the age of thirteen months, on the abdication of his mother, and the country was run until his majority by a succession of Protestant Regents. Crowned king of England in 1603, James's unshakeable belief in the 'Divine Right of Kings' and the money and honours he showered on his favourites such as the Duke of Buckingham made him widely unpopular. He was however an able scholar and theologian and under his patronage the sermon developed into a significant literary form. In this portrait the tapestry behind the King, who wears full robes of the Garter, incorporates the Tudor rose and the motto BEATI PACIFICI: 'blessed are the peace makers'.

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