Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of Charles II 1630 -1685 1650c.

Studio of Gerrit van Honthorst 

Portrait of Charles II 1630 -1685, Studio of Gerrit van Honthorst
Oil on Panel
17th Century
15 x 12 inches 38.1 x 30.5 cm
Royal Gardens (Gardeners World 1992) Illustrated p.17.
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This early portrait of the young King Charles II must date from the years immediately surrounding his accession in 1649 after the execution of his father. It is appropriate that the King is shown in armour since he had effectively been a soldier since the age of twelve when the Civil War broke out in England between the King his father and Parliament. The painting – which recalls the work of Gerrit van Honthorst who had his studio at the Hague at this date – shows the King’s face still recognisable from the earlier wartime portraits of William Dobson but beginning to assume the mask of cynicism and experience that was the legacy of what the King referred to as his 'travels.'
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