Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of William III as a boy (1650-1702) 

Circle of Cornelius Johnson 

Portrait of William III as a boy (1650-1702), Circle of Cornelius Johnson
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Pencil on Paper
18th Century
11 1/2 x 9 inches, 29 x 22 cm.
 
Provenance:
English Private Collection
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This charming seventeenth century drawing is taken from Jonsonís original portrait painted in Holland in 1657. Versions are today in the Royal Collection, the National Portrait Gallery, and Knole in Kent. William was just six years old when the portrait was takem, but is shown here as an important political figure, as signified by his wearing the Order of the Garter, the pre-eminent English order of chivalry. Both the Garter sash and the portrait would have been intended to demonstrate Williamís significance as occupying a place in the line of succession to the English throne by virtue of his mother, Mary, the eldest daughter of Charles I. Williamís claim to the throne, and the basis for his invasion during the Glorious Revolution of 1688, would be reinforced by his marriage to James IIís eldest daughter, Mary, with whom he would rule jointly until her death in 1694, and on his own until 1702. William and Mary died childless, and were succeeded by James IIís younger daughter, Anne.
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