Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of Charles Stuart the Young Pretender (1720-1788) 1748

Louis Tocque 

Portrait of Charles Stuart the Young Pretender (1720-1788), Louis Tocque
Oil on canvas
18th Century
30 x 25 inches 76.2 x 63.5 cm
There is no suggestion in Le Tocque's portrait of 1748 that the Jacobite cause has been irreparably harmed by the failure of the ''45 expedition. Instead the Prince is shown in triumphant aspect, perhaps with more dash and martial élan than in any previous image. As the last enthusiasms for the Jacobites among the Catholic courts of Europe has begun to wane by this date, and the failure of the ''45 proved conclusively that there could be no reclamation of the throne by force, it must have seemed even more important to Charles Stuart’s supporters to produce a truly princely and vigorous image.

Tocque studied briefly with the history painter Nicolas Bertin but was more influenced by the portrait painter Jean-Marc Nattier, whose studio he entered c. 1718, and whose daughter he married in 1747. In Nattier's studio he executed copies of portraits by van Dyck, Nicolas de Largilliere and Hyacinthe Rigaud. The influence of these masters is apparent in the present portrait, which diplays a sweeping panache quite in contrast to the more restrained style traditional at the British court.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.