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Acquisitions and courtier gifts

Although Charles II particularly admired Old Masters, he also enjoyed contemporary classical-style paintings dominated by semi-nude figures. Between 1676 and 1681, he acquired seven pictures from the Italian artist Benedetto Gennari who frequently produced such works. These paintings advertised the patron’s knowledge of classical literature and provided an opportunity to develop quasi-erotic imagery.

Gifts from loyal courtiers also contributed to the Collection. Sir John Finch, the British Resident in Florence, made a gift of two paintings by the Italian artist, Carlo Dolci, while Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich, presented the king with Palma Vecchio’s A Sibyl taken from his own collection.

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.