'Charles the First after parting with his children'

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© National Portrait Gallery, London

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'Charles the First after parting with his children'

by Samuel Bellin, published by Mary Parkes, after John Bridges
mixed-method engraving, published 1841 (1838)
23 7/8 in. x 18 3/8 in. (605 mm x 467 mm) paper size
Given by Ernest E. Leggatt, 1913
Reference Collection
NPG D32079

Sittersback to top

Artistsback to top

  • Samuel Bellin (1799-1893), Printmaker and draughtsman. Artist or producer associated with 51 portraits.
  • John Bridges (active 1818-1854), Painter and draughtsman. Artist or producer associated with 4 portraits.
  • Mary Parkes (active 1830s-1850s), Artist. Artist or producer associated with 3 portraits.

This portraitback to top

On the day before his execution, Charles I said farewell to the two of his six children who were still in England at that time. Although the essential features of this scene are historically accurate, the treatment is highly theatrical. The figure of Charles seems to be based on the composition in John Faber Sr's mezzotint although his expression has been modified to arouse a strong emotional response.

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Events of 1841back to top

Current affairs

Sir Robert Peel's second term as Prime Minister. Peel replaces the Whig Prime Minister Lord Melbourne after a Conservative general election victory. The English comic periodical Punch is first published, under the auspices of engraver Ebenezer Landells and writer Henry Mayhew, and quickly establishes itself as a radical commentary on the arts, politics and current affairs, notable for its heavily satirised cartoons.

Art and science

Thomas Carlyle publishes his set of lectures On Heroes and Hero Worship, in which he attempts to connect past heroic figures to significant figures form the present.
William Henry Fox Talbot invents the calotype process, in which photographs were developed from negatives. This allowed for multiple copies of images to be made, and was the basis of modern, pre-digital, photographic processing.


Signing of the Straits Convention, an international agreement between Britain, France, Prussia, Austria, Russia and Turkey, denying access to non-Ottoman warships through the seas connecting the Mediterranean and the Black Seas, a major concession by Russia. Whilst signalling a spirit of co-operation, the convention emphasises the decline of the Ottoman Empire.

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Paul Barlow

19 January 2021, 02:44

Hello. My name is Paul Barlow. I have a fine tapestry version of this painting.It is hand knotted and very closely resembles the detail in the painting.Size is 450mm wide x 600mm high.
In good condition with little sign of fading of the weave material/colours.
I am living in Whangamata. New Zealand