Mar 29, 2007
Aug 5, 2013
Aug 5, 2013

Portrait of King Charles II of England

Portrait of King Charles II of England


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

Did you know?

Charles is wearing a typical French cuirassier's armor. Meant for cavalry, the style indicates it was made around 1630 and was likely a gift as Charles would have been an infant at the time it was created.


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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