This half-length portrait shows the subject seated, turned half-right, in a slashed doublet with lace cuffs and a lace ruff.

A letter is in his hands, which rest on a cushion. This painting is very probably the ad vivum study that preceded Honthorst's characterization of Charles as Apollo in his large The Seven Liberal Arts presented to Apollo and Diana, now at Hampton Court. It is a uniquely informal portrait of Charles I and a very remarkable counterpart to the more widely-known image of him built up by the series of Van Dyck portraits.

Provenance

Ulysse Moussalli.


National Portrait Gallery

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