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Attributed to Jacob van Doort (d. 1629)

Christian, Prince of Brunswick, later Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg (1599-1626) Inscribed 1609

Oil on canvas | 185.5 x 103.0 cm (historic support measurement) | RCIN 404914

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  • This is one of five full-length portraits of members of the Brunswick family in the Royal Collection which were first attributed to van der Doort by Oliver Millar. They are all inscribed with the date of 1609. Christian, Prince of Brunswick (1599-1626) was one of nine children and second son of Heinrich Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Prince of Calenberg and Prince of Wolfenbüttel (1564-1613) and his second wife, Elisabeth, Princess of Denmark (1573-1625), eldest daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark and Norway (1534-1588). Following the death of his brother Rudolf he was appointed Bishop of Halberstadt in 1616 and was described as an ‘Administrator’ of the secularized Bishopric. He was a champion of the Queen of Bohemia, and raised an army for the Protestant cause in the Thirty Years War. He was wounded in battle at Fleurus on 29 August 1622 and a few days later the Duke's arm was amputated with full military honours (see RCIN 405885).

    Here the young prince wears a white silk doublet cut tight to the torso and white silk breeches. Both are decorated with vertical lines of gold braid. Breeches were padded with cotton or horsehair in order to achieve the fashionably voluminous silhouette. His crimson silk garters are tied into bows at each knee and matching shoe roses decorate the plain black shoes. His left hand rests on his sword hilt, his right on his hip. Over his left shoulder is a black cloak again decorated with gold braid. His collar is of the most translucent linen, starched and raised on a piccadil. A tall-crowned black hat decorated with a ornately jewelled hat badge is positioned on a table to the left.

    Inscribed: H. CHRISTIANVS / 1609

    First recorded in the Queen's Gallery at Greenwich in 1639 (no 28); sold from there for £3 to Murray and others on 23 October 1651 (no 123); recovered at the Restoration and listed in the King's Gallery at Hampton Court in 1666 (no 110)

  • Medium and techniques

    Oil on canvas


    185.5 x 103.0 cm (historic support measurement)

    187.5 x 103.5 x 3.0 cm (support, canvas/panel/stretcher external)

    204.1 x 120.8 x 6.0 cm (frame, external)

  • Category
    Object type(s)
  • Other number(s)
    Alternative title(s)

    Christian, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg (1599-1626)

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.