King Charles II
3 of 292 portraits of King Charles II
King Charles II
studio of Sir Anthony van Dyck
oil on canvas, circa 1638
59 1/4 in. x 51 1/2 in. (1505 mm x 1307 mm)
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- King Charles II (1630-1685), Reigned 1660-85. Sitter associated with 292 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), Painter. Artist associated with 1009 portraits, Sitter associated with 31 portraits.
This portraitback to top
The eldest son of Charles I and 'bred to a wonderful civility' according to his mother's wishes, Charles reacted bravely to the outbreak of civil war. He first saw service at Edgehill aged twelve. When advised to retreat he cried 'I fear them not', flourished his pistol and had to be restrained from charging. Charles campaigned until he was sent abroad for his safety in 1646 and five years later made a daring invasion of England which ended in disaster at the Battle of Worcester. The image of him as a boy soldier was, it seems, a potent piece of Royalist propaganda. Another portrait made about this time by Cornelius Johnson (or Jonson) shows him in a similar pose, but not in armour, with a view of a military encampment behind him.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 116
See this portrait
On display in Room 5 at the National Portrait Gallery
- BSL Gallery Tour: Van Dyck: Transforming British Art
26 November, 19:30
- Visualising Portraits: Van Dyck: Transforming British Art
29 October, 14:00