Charles II, 1630 - 85

Oval miniature in watercolour, in an oval gilt metal presentation frame, backed with velvet, with a suspension ring and scroll below inscribed in black letter 'CHARLES 2nd'. The sitter is shown head and shoulders filling the frame apart from a narrow background of clouded sky. He faces forward, head turned to his left, wearing gilt-studded full armour under a plain broad white-lawn collar which also covers the blue Garter sash crossing his chest diagionally over the left shoulder. He has grey eyes, a thin black moustache and wears what is probably a slightly curled black full-bottom wig.

This is one of 17 miniatures purchased for the Museum by Sir James Caird from the Duke of Buccleuch in the 1940s. In H.A. Kennedy's 1917 'Studio' monograph on the Buccleuch collection ( p.35 and pl. xlii) it is only attributed to Cooper, since unsigned. Autograph or not, its qualitiy compares well with that of Charles's brother James, Duke of York, painted in 1670-72 (MNT0191), from the same source. Long before they entered the Museum they had been framed as a pair, though not painted as such. The present example is certainly earlier, perhaps no later than about 1665: a copy by David Paton, dated 1669, after another Cooper of Charles (in the same pose but wearing state robes) is also illustrated by Kennedy and shows heavier and older features. The pose (frontal, with the head turned to viewer's right) is a standard one for Cooper's portrayals of Charles. [PvdM 1/11 inc some DH notes]

Object Details

ID: MNT0188
Collection: Fine art
Type: Miniature
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Cooper, Samuel
Date made: mid-1660s; 1660-65
Exhibition: Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames
People: King Charles II
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Overall: 83 x 66 mm; Box: 930 mm x 230 mm x 95 mm

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