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Charles II J910366. BOSCOBEL HOUSE, Staffordshire

Charles II J910366. BOSCOBEL HOUSE, Staffordshire


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Historic England

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Charles II J910366. BOSCOBEL HOUSE, Staffordshire

BOSCOBEL HOUSE, Staffordshire. Portrait of Charles II. Late 17th century oil canvas after a portrait by Sir Peter Lely

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Media ID 558844

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Monarchy Paintings


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This striking oil canvas depicts Charles II, the monarch who restored the English monarchy after the Civil War and Interregnum. The portrait, which dates back to the late 17th century, is a superb example of the Baroque style that dominated European art during this period. It is believed to be a copy after a portrait originally painted by Sir Peter Lely, a leading artist of the English Restoration court. Charles II is shown in regal attire, wearing a red doublet and a white lace ruff, with a golden chain of the Order of the Garter draped over his shoulders. His expression is calm and confident, reflecting the strong leadership and determination that characterized his reign. The background is simple, with a plain gold fabric, adding to the focus on the king's presence. Boscobel House in Staffordshire, where this painting is currently housed, has a rich history of its own. It was the site of the famous escape of the future Charles II during the Civil War, when he hid in an oak tree to evade capture by the Parliamentary forces. The house was later restored by the royalist 5th Earl of Shrewsbury in the late 17th century, and the portrait of Charles II may have been acquired during this time as a symbol of loyalty to the restored monarchy. Today, Boscobel House is a cherished reminder of the turbulent history of the English monarchy and the enduring power of art to capture the essence of a historical figure. This portrait of Charles II, with its grandeur and intrigue, continues to captivate viewers and inspire admiration for the complex and fascinating history of England's past.

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