King William III (1650-1702) reigned 1688-1702
About the work
Interpretation about this artwork is under review
Several versions of Brandon’s portraits of William III survive in Dutch collections. A c.2½ meter high portrait of William in state robes after Brandon, in the National Portrait Gallery, London, is a copy of a 1697 work by Brandon at Trêveszaal (Cabinet Room) of the Binnenhof (Dutch House of Parliament), The Hague. Brandon also painted a standing three-quarter-length of William in armour and made a copy of Kneller’s coronation portrait for the municipality of Hertogenbosch, in the southern Netherlands. Seated three-quarter-length portraits of William and Mary in state robes are at Het Loo Palace, a state museum in Apeldoorn. Finally, a further pair of three-quarter-length portraits, dated 1691, are at the Fraeylemaborg museum, in the village of Slochteren, the Netherlands.
William of Orange was born in The Hague, the son of William II, Prince of Orange and Mary, eldest daughter of Charles I. William became Stadholder of Holland and Protestant champion of Europe against the aggression of Louis XIV. When James II's hope of catholicising England was strengthened by the birth of an heir (1688), William was invited by a group of Whigs to invade England. On James's flight, William and Mary were declared King and Queen.
About the artist
Jean Henri Brandon was born at Sedan, in northern France. He probably moved to The Hague after the revocation (reversal) of the Edict of Nantes, which had promoted religious tolerance, in 1680. Brandon became a pupil of Dutch artist Theodor van der Schuur and, from 1598, was a member of the Academy in The Hague. He won recognition as a portrait painter and was employed frequently by the Court. In 1708 he moved to Utrecht, where he died some eight years later.