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King Charles I (1600-1649)

Sir Anthony Van Dyck (Antwerp 1599 - London 1641) and Studio

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1635 - 1637

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

1210 x 946 mm (47 5/8 x 37 1/4 in)

Place of origin

England

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Collection

Ham House, Surrey (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Ham House and Garden, Surrey, London and South East, National Trust

NT 1139944

Caption

Charles I rewarded his boyhood companion William Murray, 1st Earl of Dysart (c.1600-1655) with many gifts, including the house itself. This portrait pleased the king so much that he asked Van Dyck to make a copy as a present for William. The frame was part of the gift, and now the Long Gallery is hung with frames made in a similar style.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, King Charles I (1600-1649) by Sir Anthony Van Dyck (Antwerp 1599 - London 1641) and Studio, circa 1635/7. A three-quarter-length portrait, turned to the left, gazing at the spectator in black with white collar, wearing the Ribbon and Order of the Garter, turned to left, head turned, gazing at spectator over his left shoulder, his right ungloved hand on a table on the right, his left ungloved hand holding a glove, in black dress, wearing the Ribbon and Order of the Garter. There are many versions of this type of portrait of the King by Van Dyck including another at Kedleston Hall (NT 108902) and two at the National Portrait Gallery, London. The original painted between 1635-7 is said to have been destroyed in the Whitehall fire of 1697. Another painted for Charles I's nephew, Charles Louis, Elector Palatine KG (1617 – 1680) and bearing the date 1637, formerly in the Imperial Collection in Prague, is now in the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden. The Ham version was probably given to William Murray by the King, as indicated in a Memorandum of Pictures bought by the King from Van Dyck dated 1638-9 which reads - 'Le Roi vestue de noir a Monr. More, doubtless a French variant of Murray.

Provenance

In the 1638/9 Memorandum of pictures bought by the King from Van Dyck:' Le Roi vestu de noir' given to 'Monsr Morre' [Murray] by the King, 'avec sa mollure' [in this very frame.]'; in 1677 Ham Inventory; by descent until acquired in 1948 by HM Government when Sir Lyonel, 4th Bt (1854 – 1952) and Sir Cecil Tollemache, 5th Bt (1886 – 1969) presented Ham House to the National Trust, and entrusted to the care of the Victoria & Albert Museum, until 1990, when returned to the care of the National Trust, and to which ownership was transferred in 2002

Credit line

Ham House, The Dysart Collection (purchased by HM Government in 1948 and transferred to the National Trust in 2002)

Makers and roles

Sir Anthony Van Dyck (Antwerp 1599 - London 1641) and Studio, artist

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