Yeames and his circle - Augustus Leopold Egg

Man on horse surrounded by an army|

'Charles I raising his standard at Nottingham' 1852

Augustus Leopold Egg (1816 - 1863)

Oil on canvas, 34.5 x 44cm

Charles I raised his standard at Nottingham on 22 August 1642. He had spent the previous months trying to raise an army in the north, without much success. The weather was so bad at Nottingham that the standard was blown down shortly after it was erected.

Egg has used the gloomy weather to indicate the low morale of the king and his small army at this stage. The poses and composition are very informal. The king sits impassively on his horse pushed to one side of the painting. William Holman Hunt|, the Pre-Raphaelite| painter, very much admired this sketch. He recorded how deeply the subject moved the artist. Egg demonstrates here the expressive power of composition and tonality, lessons which perhaps many of the St John's Wood Clique never fully understood.

This 1852 sketch was submitted to the Fine Arts Commission in an attempt to gain Egg a commission to decorate the Peer's Corridor in the Palace of Westminster. However, it was rejected and the commission eventually given to CW Cope.