Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait Miniature of James Francis Edward Stuart (1688-1766), 'The Old Pretender', as a child. c.1692

 French School 

Portrait Miniature of James Francis Edward Stuart (1688-1766), 'The Old Pretender', as a child.,  French School
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Oil on copper
17th Century
Height 61mm
 
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This fascinating portrait miniature shows James, Prince of Wales, son of the exiled King James II. It is based on a portrait by Nicolas Largilliere of c.1692, when the young James, later better known as ‘the Old Pretender’, was about five years old. James was then living at the Court of Saint-Germain-en-Laye in France, where he had been secreted in 1688 during the collapse of his father’s reign after the ‘Glorious Revolution’. The portrait is unusual, in that it depicts James in a relatively informal setting, with his own hair and a simple costume. But he is nonetheless shown with his most important princely attributes, the blue sash and badge of the Order of the Garter, which were constantly worn by the exiled Stuarts as an assertion of their legitimacy.
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