King Charles I
1 portrait matching these criteria:
- npg number matching '1112'
King Charles I
by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, circa 1616
79 in. x 45 1/2 in. (2007 mm x 1156 mm)
This portraitback to top
This portrait was once thought to be by the Flemish artist Abraham van Blyenberch but this attribution has been rejected following analysis by the Gallery's Making Art in Tudor Britain research project.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Bolland, Charlotte, Tudor & Jacobean Portraits, 2018, p. 53 Read entry
The second son of James VI and Anne of Denmark, Charles became heir to the throne following Prince Henry’s sudden death in 1612. Where Henry had been raised since infancy to be a future king and had travelled to England with his mother in 1603, Charles had been left behind in Scotland until the summer of 1604, learning to overcome a speech impediment and walking impairment that was probably caused by rickets. Charles adored his older brother and inherited his passion for art, ultimately assembling the greatest of all British royal collections. However, his reign ended in the political and religious chaos of the English Civil War, which had been caused in part by his imposition of unpopular taxes and religious uniformity, and personal rule at the expense of Parliament. This portrait was probably painted around 1616 when the sixteen-year-old Charles was created Prince of Wales. As with a number of portraits of Charles as a young man, it was previously thought to depict his brother Henry, whose own portrait as Prince of Wales likely informed the composition of this image. Robert Peake the Elder was working for Charles at this date and was paid £35 for portraits of the prince in 1616; however, this painting is in a very different style and was probably painted by a Netherlandish artist.
- MacLeod, Catherine, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection at Montacute House, 1999, p. 31
- Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 78
- Piper, David, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, 1625-1714, 1963, p. 60
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 115
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1616back to top
Current affairsPlaywright, William Shakespeare, dies in Stratford-Upon-Avon on 23rd April, after he contracted a fever. He is buried days later inside Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.
James I's second son, Charles, is invested as Prince of Wales at a lavish ceremony at Whitehall.
Art and sciencePoet and playwright Benjamin Jonson, is granted a royal pension effectively establishing him as the first poet laureate in all but name.
Queen Anne commissions Inigo Jones to design a pavilion at Greenwich, the Queen's House.
InternationalSir Walter Ralegh, released from prison, begins planning an expedition to Guiana in search of El Dorado. With established Spanish settlements in the area, Ralegh's expedition unsettled the court which sought lasting peace with Spain.
The Catholic Church places Nicolaus Copernicus's De revolutionibus, 1543, on its list of prohibited books.
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.
- Tudor Miniatures
- Charles I
- Silhouettes display, 2004-05
- Return to Life: A New Look at the Portrait Bust
- 2019 Anniversaries
- William Hazlitt's Spirit of the Age
- Making History: Printed Portraiture in Tudor and Stuart Britain
- Mary, Queen of Scots: Fact and Fiction
- Restoration Lives: Samuel Pepys and His Circle
- Brilliant Women
- Chartist Portraits
- Mary, Queen of Scots
- Nelson: before and after Trafalgar
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Art Conservation Project
- Rebel women
- Theodore de Mayerne
- Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs
- Popular Prints of Victoria and Albert
- Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
- Searching for Shakespeare
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.