Charles II (1630-1685)

A full-length portrait to right in Garter robes and brown full bottomed wig, the regalia is on a table on the right. His right hand is raised as he supports his cloak and in his left hand he holds a plumed hat. In the background is a crown and richly ornate gold curtains set against a backdrop of clouds and sky. There is a highly decorated pillar on the left.
Charles II fled England in 1649 when his father was executed by Cromwell’s Roundheads. He returned in 1660 as Britain’s new King when the monarchy was restored albeit with fewer privileges than they had before the Civil War. Charles’s reign was a peaceful and for the most part a tolerant one earning him the nickname the 'Merry Monarch’. He was less tolerant over the phenomenon of coffee houses which were spreading through the capital. Fearing they would encourage revolutionary activities he issued a proclamation suppressing Coffee Houses on 23 December 1675. The public response was so negative however that it was revoked almost immediately, on 8 January 1676.

The painting dates from about 1670 and is thought to be a copy of a Lely though with a slightly altered pose.

Object Details

ID: BHC2609
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Lely, Peter
Date made: circa 1670
People: King Charles II
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Caird Fund
Measurements: Painting: 2146 mm x 1346 mm

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