Charles II Dancing at The Hague, May 1660 (?)

Little is known about this painting, or the artist. It has traditionally been ascribed to Gonzales Coques and was believed to show Charles II dancing at The Hague in 1660, perhaps with his niece, Elizabeth van de Paltz. They were at a reception at the Stadtholder's court on the occasion of his restoration as King of England. Against this it must be said that the resemblance of the principal figure to Charles II is not convincing, and as he wears both a cloak emblazoned with fleur-de-lys and the collar and emblem of the Order of the Golden Fleece, it may equally be a portrait of Louis XIV dancing in a Dutch interior setting on some other occasion.

The composition of the painting draws strongly from ‘Charles II dancing at a ball at court’, a more accomplished work by Hieronymus Janssens (1624–93) in the Royal Collection (RCIN 400525). Janssens’ painting shows a larger, grander and more populated interior from which Coques (or some unknown hand) has extracted key elements. These include the dancing couple, the group of three figures to the left, the man and woman to the right and the central group in the middle distance. It is possible that the Janssens painting shows, in an exaggerated manner, the banquet held at the Mauritshuis in The Hague on 22 May 1660, the eve of Charles II's departure for England at the end of his continental exile.

Object Details

ID: BHC0281
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Coques, Gonzales; Janssens, Follower of Hieronymus
Date made: Mid to late 17th century
People: King Charles II
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Caird Fund.
Measurements: Painting: 838 x 1194 mm; Frame: 1022 mm x 1376 mm x 85 mm
Parts: Charles II Dancing at The Hague, May 1660 (?)

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