The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Search the Collection

King Charles II

(1630-1685), Reigned 1660-85

Sitter associated with 295 portraits
When civil war broke out in 1642, the heir to the throne Prince Charles was only twelve. He courageously engaged in the fighting for the next four years and, on one occasion when advised to retreat, cried 'I fear them not'. He was eventually sent abroad for safety in 1646. His attempt to invade England in 1651 ended in disaster at the Battle of Worcester when he was sheltered by Royalists until he finally escaped back to France. He was restored to the throne in 1660, amid great rejoicing, but with limitations on his powers. He became adept at out-manoeuvring the opposition to his policies, particularly in matters of religion and foreign affairs. The second half of his reign was marked by war with the Dutch after the Royal African Company, which had a monopoly of the Transatlantic slave trade, began to capture Dutch slave-trading posts in 1667. The company was founded by a royal charter issued by Charles in 1672 and was led by his brother, James Duke of York. In 1685, James succeeded as King James II, as although Charles had fathered fourteen children by his mistresses, he had no legitimate heir.

More on King Charles II: Monarchs range in our Shops | Kings & Queens range in our Shops | Pepys and his Contemporaries book in our Shops
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

Tell us More

2 Likes voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close

List Thumbnail

King Charles II, after Unknown artist - NPG D26467

King Charles II

after Unknown artist
line engraving, 17th century
NPG D26467

King Charles II, by Frederick Hendrik van Hove - NPG D18534

King Charles II

by Frederick Hendrik van Hove
line engraving, 17th century
NPG D18534

King Charles II, after Unknown artist - NPG D20917

King Charles II

after Unknown artist
etching, 17th century
NPG D20917

King Charles II, after Unknown artist - NPG D26420

King Charles II

after Unknown artist
line engraving, early 17th century
NPG D26420

King Charles II, by Wenceslaus Hollar, after  Sir Anthony van Dyck - NPG D26416

King Charles II

by Wenceslaus Hollar, after Sir Anthony van Dyck
etching, mid 17th century
NPG D26416

King Charles II, by George Glover - NPG D26418

King Charles II

by George Glover
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D26418

King Charles II, after Unknown artist - NPG D26419

King Charles II

after Unknown artist
stipple and line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D26419

King Charles II, possibly by William Faithorne, published by  Sir Robert Peake - NPG D26422

King Charles II

possibly by William Faithorne, published by Sir Robert Peake
etching and line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D26422

King Charles II, possibly by William Faithorne, published by  Sir Robert Peake - NPG D26427

King Charles II

possibly by William Faithorne, published by Sir Robert Peake
etching and line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D26427

King Charles II, by Cornelis van Dalen - NPG D28649

King Charles II

by Cornelis van Dalen
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D28649

King Charles II, by Richard Gaywood, after  Adriaen Hanneman - NPG D28650

King Charles II

by Richard Gaywood, after Adriaen Hanneman
etching, mid 17th century
NPG D28650

King Charles II, by John Chantry, published by  Peter Stent, after  William Faithorne - NPG D29258

King Charles II

by John Chantry, published by Peter Stent, after William Faithorne
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D29258

King Charles II, by Frederick Hendrik van Hove, after  Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt, published by  Richard Chiswell - NPG D29268

King Charles II

by Frederick Hendrik van Hove, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt, published by Richard Chiswell
line engraving, mid to late 17th century
NPG D29268

King Charles II, after Unknown artist - NPG D29273

King Charles II

after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid to late 17th century
NPG D29273

King Charles II, by Robert White - NPG D29280

King Charles II

by Robert White
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D29280

King Charles II, after Unknown artist - NPG D29283

King Charles II

after Unknown artist
line engraving with some hand-colouring, on vellum, mid 17th century
NPG D29283

King Charles II, after Unknown artist - NPG D29282

King Charles II

after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D29282

King Charles II, after Unknown artist - NPG D29286

King Charles II

after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D29286

King Charles II, after Unknown artist - NPG D29287

King Charles II

after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D29287

Groups

Media

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.

Watch

Our channel

View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.

Sit back and watch

Artist and sitter interviews

Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.

Explore behind the scenes

Sleeping Awake

Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.

Hear our story