King Charles II (1630-1685) Reigned 1660-1685

  • About the work
    Country: Tunisia
    City: Tunis
    Place: British Embassy

    Interpretation about this artwork is under review

    In this whole-length portrait, King Charles II adopts a formal pose, standing in his Garter robes. His right hand rests on his hip while holding a sword with his right. Symbols of power such as the sceptre, orb and plumed hat are placed on the table to the right. A Latin inscription underneath the image includes the publisher's address, 'Sold by Moses Pitt at ye Angel in St Pauls Church yard London.' Plate from Moses Pitt's 'English Atlas' (1680). 

    This print is one of 180 plates which make up the British School I album, presumably compiled in the early nineteenth century. This album is prefaced by a nine-page text entitled ‘Notes relating to the early history of British Art; to assist in forming a collection of illustrative engravings’. The album is a visual history of Britain since the Roman era, also including lists of prominent British artists and engravers.

  • About the artist
    Robert White was born in London and was apprenticed to line engraver David Loggan. White engraved numerous plates between 1666 and 1702, mostly portrait line engravings commissioned as frontispieces for books. These were usually engraved from his own drawings on vellum, sketched from life. He also engraved book-plates, almanacs, architectural views and processions, publishing some prints from his home in Bloomsbury Market. In 1674 he took on an apprentice, John Stuart. From about 1680 to 1683 he experimented with publishing mezzotint prints. His son, George, was born in about 1684 and followed his father in becoming an engraver. The two worked together until White’s death. Despite earlier success, he died in poverty at about the age of 58.

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  • Details
    King Charles II (1630-1685) Reigned 1660-1685
    height: 48.90 cm, width: 28.80 cm
    Origin uncertain
    Probably acquired by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for the British Embassy in Tunis
    GAC number