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Portrait of King Charles II of England

Portrait of King Charles II of England

1653

Philippe de Champaigne

(French, 1602-1674)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 182 x 141 x 15 cm (71 5/8 x 55 1/2 x 5 7/8 in.); Unframed: 129.5 x 97.2 cm (51 x 38 1/4 in.)

The Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Collection 1959.38

Description

Charles II (1630–1685) fled England in 1651 during the English civil war and commissioned this portrait during his exile in France. Charles II never fought on the battlefield, but he was the last British monarch to wear a full suit of armor, which represented his rank and status. The king gestures to the sea beyond the Dover cliffs, and the waiting fleet reveals his intention to return to England, which he did in 1660.

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