Horse portrait of Charles I, Antonis van Dyck
- Posted by Antonis van Dyck
- Museum: National Gallery (London)
- Year: Around 1637-1638
Description of the picture :
Horse Portrait of Charles I – Antonis van Dyck. Around 1637-1638. Oil on canvas. 367 x 292.1 cm
Antonis van Dyck is a Flemish painter, master of the portrait.
In 1625, Charles I succeeded his father Jacob (James) I as the king of Great Britain and Ireland. Since 1632, Van Dyck was appointed court artist and constantly wrote to the king and his wife, Queen Henrietta Maria. In total, he created 35 portraits of the monarch, seven of them equestrian. These paintings completely satisfied the king, since they conveyed his conviction of the divine destiny to rule the country. Van Dyke with his art affirmed the title – “Karl is the king of Great Britain.”.
In this portrait, Charles I is presented as a warrior king on a magnificent horse, in knightly armor and with a team rod in his hand, as if he were leading his knights. He is dressed in the so-called Greenwich armor (made in the 16th century in Greenwich in England). It is significant that the work probably deliberately resembles the “Portrait of Emperor Charles V before the Battle of Mülberg” of the Titian brush (1548), stored in the Prado Museum in Madrid. On it, the emperor also appears as a warrior, he has just defeated the Protestant League in Mülberg. Comparison of the portrait of Van Dyck with the work of Titian was to inspire the viewer with the idea of Charles I as the same defender of faith.