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Charles II


RCIN 602653.a

An engraving of Charles II as king: full-length, turned to the left, mounted on a rearing horse. He wears a wide-brimmed plumed hat, a lace collar, riding dress, and a sash over his right shoulder. He holds a baton in his right hand. With a Latin inscription and English verses below. Very rare. An associated note attributes the background etching to Dirk Stoop; see RCIN 602653.b. This print depicts Charles II on horseback in the coronation procession as it passed St Paul's Cathedral. The image emphasises Charles's physical presence, in 'a most rich embroidered suit': his height (he was reported to stand at least six foot tall) was further enhanced by a towering plumed hat. The authorship of this print is uncertain. It is signed 'Made and to be Sould by Ro: Walton', implying that it was both engraved and published by Robert Walton, who had set himself up as a printer and publisher in 1647. However, Walton's output was of uneven quality, and this is the only print that was 'made' as opposed to 'sould by' him. A possible alternative attribution on the grounds of quality is the Utrecht-born painter Dirk Stoop, who has been suggested as the etcher of the background. The laudatory verse below the print was written by James Heath (?1629-64), a historian who had spent time in exile with Charles II. Of the king's coronation, Heath wrote: 'foreigners acknowledged themselves never to have seen among all the great magnificences of the world any to come near equal to this'. Text adapted from Charles II: Art & Power, London, 2017

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