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'The last moments of King Charles the First'

9 of 11 portraits of William Juxon

'The last moments of King Charles the First', by James Scott, published by  Thomas Boys, published by  Rittner & Goupil, after  William Fisk, published 1838 - NPG D32081 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

'The last moments of King Charles the First'

by James Scott, published by Thomas Boys, published by Rittner & Goupil, after William Fisk
mixed-method engraving, published 1838
22 3/8 in. x 16 1/8 in. (569 mm x 411 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1963
Reference Collection
NPG D32081

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Sittersback to top

Artistsback to top

  • Thomas Boys (active 1840s-1859), Fine art publisher. Artist associated with 17 portraits.
  • William Fisk (1796-1872), Portrait and history painter. Artist associated with 5 portraits.
  • Rittner & Goupil (active 1836-1839), Publishers. Artist associated with 15 portraits.
  • James Scott (circa 1809-circa 1889), Engraver. Artist associated with 132 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

This print places the viewer face-to-face with Charles for the gruesome spectacle of his execution. He looks directly out with Christ-like calm amid the bustle on the scaffold. The nearness of the axe blade strikes a chilling note in expectation of what is about to happen.
William Fisk painted a number of historical scenes from the reign of Charles I. Although he studied contemporary portraits and costumes, drama and pathos are more important than historical correctness. For example, Oliver Cromwell was not present at the execution but can here be seen peering out of a Banqueting House window.

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