circa 1590 – 1647
Charles I, as Prince of Wales (1600-1649)
Oil on canvas: 28 x 24 inches, 70 x 60 cm
- with The Weiss Gallery, 1996, sold to
- Private collection
This fine ad vivum portrait, once considered to be by Velázquez, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and compelling portraits ever painted of Charles I. In comparison with the well-known images of the monarch painted by Mytens, Honthorst, Van Dyck and Dobson, this rendering succeeds perhaps better than any other in conveying the physical presence and psychology of the man.
It is the first portrait Charles sat for upon his return with George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, from a six-month stay in Spain in 1623. It was almost certainly commissioned by the Duke himself and is testament to the relationship that had developed between the two men during their travels abroad. Charles is portrayed in Spanish fashion, wearing a gold embroidered black doublet and is depicted for the first time with his newly grown beard.
The addition of this painting to the oeuvre of Daniel Mytens adds confirmation that the artist was the finest painter in oils to work at court in Britain during the period between the death of Holbein and the arrival in England of Van Dyck.
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