King Charles I
King Charles I
by Gerrit van Honthorst
oil on canvas, 1628
30 in. x 25 1/4 in. (762 mm x 641 mm)
Purchased with help from the Art Fund, 1965
Artistback to top
- Gerrit van Honthorst (1590-1656), Artist. Artist associated with 51 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.
This portraitback to top
An unusually informal and intimate portrait, this painting is probably the life study on which Honthorst based another image of Charles I in a large allegorical group portrait at Hampton Court. This shows the King and Queen as Apollo and Diana, with the Duke of Buckingham as Mercury, presenting to them the Seven Liberal Arts.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Cooper, John, Visitor's Guide, 2000, p. 33
- John Cooper, National Portrait Gallery Visitor's Guide, 2006, p. 33
- Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 66
- Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 84
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 54
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 54
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 115
- Williamson, David, Kings and Queens, 2010, p. 111
Events of 1628back to top
Current affairsJohn Felton, a professional soldier, assassinates George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.
Lawyer and politician, Sir Edward Coke, leads the demand for a Petition of Right which sets out specific civil liberties while curbing Royal power. After much debate, it is reluctantly accepted by Charles I and passed in Parliament.
Art and scienceAged ten, poet Abraham Cowley writes his epic romance, Pyramus and Thisbe; it would appear in his first publication, Poetical blossoms, 1633, a collection of five poems.
Charles I purchases a substantial art collection from the Duke of Mantua, initially overseen by diplomat, Sir Isaac Wake.
InternationalThe Huguenots surrender in La Rochelle to Catholic royalist forces. Attempts are made by England to assist the city; a final, unsuccessful expedition is dispatched by Robert Bertie, Earl of Lindsey, now head of the fleet since the death of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.
See this portrait
On display at Royal Academy of Arts, London
- Lunchtime Lecture: White King: the tragedy of Charles I
18 January 2018, 13:15
Tell us more
Help us conserve a portrait of a female adventurer, poet and medical pioneer