Charles II

Godfrey Kneller, 1685

WAG 3023

About this object

Kneller came to England from Germany in 1676 and soon gained royal favour.

In this work, the king's authority is subtly undermined: his face is stiff, his hand limp and the crown and orb are hidden in shadow. Kneller presents an aging and even lonely figure.

This is the last of his portraits of Charles II. It was probably begun just before the king's death and finished afterwards.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Sir Godfrey Kneller (German-born British, born:08 August 1646, died:26 October 1723)
  • Date
    1685
  • Materials
    Oil; Canvas
  • Measurements
    canvas/support: 244.8 cm x 144.2 cm
  • Physical description
    Portrait of King Charles II who is seated in a chair with his body turned to the left of the composition and his head turned slightly to the right. He wears a long dark curly wig and royal garments in red, black and white with St George's Cross on his sleeve. There is a crown and orb portrayed in the background on the left.
  • Related people
    Sir Godfrey Kneller (Artist/maker); Sotheby's (Previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 3023
  • Credit line
    Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery in 1952
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Sotheby's

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1952-07-16
    Disposal method: Sold to the Walker Art Gallery

Inscriptions

Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: Godfrey Kneller / ad vivum fecit / A 1685
    Inscription method: Paint
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Centre; Left (on base of cariatyd)
  • Inscription text: WO / 3230/2
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
  • Inscription text: (symbol) 4157 / Charles II
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
  • Inscription text: (Agnews London)
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
  • Inscription text: 13099 (Christie's)
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
Object view = Fine Art
Page load time: 78 ms