Publisher: Royal Collection @ Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Charles I and Family
Charles I, king of England, and his French queen, Henrietta Maria, pose in 1632 with their two children, Prince Charles (later King Charles II), at left, and Princess Mary, in her mother's arms. (They would have three more children who survived to adulthood.) The artist, Anthony van Dyke, had recently been appointed official court painter and this was his first commission. In the composition Van Dyke includes a pair of small dogs between the royal couple, as well as a distant view of Parliament House and Westminster Hall. The portrait was well received—it was known at that time as "The Greate Peece"—and was hung in a prominent location in Whitehall Palace. King Charles I was executed in 1649 after the English Civil Wars and the painting was sold thereafter. The family portrait was recovered after Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660.