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The House of Stuart and the House of Orange

Painters and printmakers from the Low Countries dominated the British art market for much of the seventeenth century. Displayed here are portraits, all by Dutch printmakers, of the rulers of Britain and the Netherlands during this period.

Engraving of Charles I as king. Bust length with long hair, closed ruff, embroidered doublet, and order on ribbon around neck. Within an oval border bearing Latin inscription, within a rectangular frame with Latin inscription below. Borders trimmed. Very

Serenissimo, Potentissimo, & Excekkentissimo Principi, Carolo DEI gratia Magnae Britanniae, Franciae, et Hiberniae Regi Fidei Defensori etc.


After the Union of the Crowns in 1603, the House of Stuart ruled all of England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The Stuarts married into other European dynasties, including the House of Orange-Nassau, which was founded in 1544 and survives today as the Royal House of the Netherlands.

These two royal houses maintained close links throughout the seventeenth century, culminating in 1688 – 9 when the ‘Glorious Revolution’ brought William of Orange and his wife Mary Stuart jointly to the throne of Britain as William III and Mary II.