King Charles I
King Charles I
by William Marshall
etching and line engraving, published 1649
5 1/2 in. x 7 in. (141 mm x 178 mm) paper size
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Artistback to top
- William Marshall (active 1617-1649), Engraver. Artist associated with 189 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Published just ten days after the King's execution, Eikon Basilike (The Image of the King) claimed to be a personal account of his suffering. Combining a moral justification of his reign with prayers of forgiveness for his executioners, it was a masterpiece of propaganda and became one of the most popular books of the seventeenth century. Parliament commissioned John Milton to write a theological riposte, but Eikonoklastes (the Iconoclast) failed to dislodge the popular perception of Charles I as a Christian martyr. This allegorical frontispiece shows Charles I receiving a crown of thorns. In this way, the suffering of the King is explicitly likened to the Passion of Christ.
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Charles I: King and Martyr (19 July 2008 - 14 December 2008)
Events of 1649back to top
Current affairsCharged with subverting the nation's laws and liberties and cruelly making war against Parliament and the English people, Charles I is found guilty by a court of 159 commissioners, and beheaded outside the Banqueting House, Whitehall.
England is declared a commonwealth and power is entrusted to a Council of State.