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Isaac Oliver (c. 1565-1617)

Charles I (1600-1649) when Duke of York c.1611-16

RCIN 420048

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This miniature by Isaac Oliver was first recorded in the collection of Charles I by Abraham van der Doort, Surveyor of The King's Pictures, who described it as: 'done upon the right light the 7th Picture - beeing upon an Ovall redd grounded card of your Matie when you were Duke of yorke in a - laced ruffe and gilded Armor wth blue ribbons' and 'Don by the life - by Isack: Olliver'. The fact that van der Doort identifies it as the king when Duke of York dates it prior to November 1616 when the Duke of York was created Prince of Wales. The 'blew ribbons' described by van der Doort are in fact the Garter ribbon, and the presentation of the prince, wearing an elaborate gilt damascened armour, reflects the treatment given by Isaac Oliver to the prince's late brother, Henry, Prince of Wales in miniatures painted c. 1612 (see 420946; 420057; 420056: Royal Collection). The miniature was certainly linked at an early stage with one of these images by Oliver of Henry, Prince of Wales (420946) with which it was framed together with six others of Charles I's immediate family and forebears. Despite the overt similarities between the presentation of the two sitters, Oliver captures the reticence and uncertainties of the young Charles I in this eloquent portrait. Inscribed on the reverse: 2 1635 [in reference to the date at which it was inventoried in Charles I's collection].