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Charles I

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    England (possibly, made)
    Italy (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Anthony van Dyck, born 1599 - died 1641 (after)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case WW

Object Type
This triple portrait had an unusual function as a kind of design for sculpture. In 1636 Charles I (ruled 1625-1649) dispatched the original of this painting by Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) to the sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) in Rome. It was to assist in the making of a marble bust. The three viewpoints were chosen to enable the sculptor to create a truly three-dimensional likeness.

The sculpture was intended as a papal present to Queen Henrietta Maria (1609-1669). After the bust was finished, the painting remained in the possession of Bernini and passed to his descendants. It was brought back to England in 1802 and entered the Royal Collection in 1822. The bust itself was a great success with the King and Queen. It was eventually destroyed in a fire at Whitehall Palace, London, in 1698.

Ownership & Use
This painting is one of many copies that were made of van Dyck's original. It is later in date than most of the others. It is possible that it was commissioned by a supporter of the Stuart Royal Family in the mid-18th century. It may have been used as a kind of icon by opponents of the Hanoverian dynasty.

Physical description

Oil painting

Place of Origin

England (possibly, made)
Italy (possibly, made)


ca. 1750 (made)


Anthony van Dyck, born 1599 - died 1641 (after)

Materials and Techniques

oil on canvas


Height: 94 cm, Width: 113 cm, Depth: 10 cm

Object history note

Bequeathed by John Jones, 1882

Descriptive line

Triple portrait of KING CHARLES I, after Anthony van Dyck, ca. 1750

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Van Dyck's portraits of Charles and the royal family created powerful images of royal dignity and elegance. His original version of this portrait had been sent to Rome in 1636. It served as a model for the sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), whose marble bust of Charles I was a present from the Pope to Queen Henrietta Maria. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

About 1750, copying an original of 1635-1636


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting


Paintings; Royalty; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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