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Anne Killigrew (1660-85)

James II (1633-1701) 1685

RCIN 403427

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Painted soon after his accession, this portrait shows James VII wearing the fashionable style of knee-length coat introduced by his brother Charles II some years earlier, although by this date large-scale pattern repeats like these were relatively unusual. Bright blue stockings contrast with the warm colours of the coat. James VII also wears a long curling periwig instead of his natural hair. The sitter was an early adopter of the style and was evidently an influential tastemaker at court. His decision to adopt a wig prompts the diarist Samuel Pepys to do the same – after some months of uncertainty. In November 1663 Pepys takes the bold step of shaving off his natural hair and purchases a wig at a cost of £3 (approximately £230 today).