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The Court of Charles I and the Dutch Republic

The Elector Palatine, Frederick V (1596-1632), succeeded his father in 1610 and in 1613 married Princess Elizabeth (1596-1662), daughter of James I. In 1619 he accepted the crown of Bohemia and, after a single winter's reign (for which reason he is known

The King and Queen of Bohemia dining in Public ©

The paintings in this section were executed during the seventeenth century by artists from the Low Countries, some working in Holland and some in England. They describe the milieu of the elite, with the trappings of fashionable life: fine costumes, Italianate architecture, formal gardens, well-kept stables and well-trained horses. 

Though the sitters are similarly prosperous their deportment reflects different ideas as to how a state and a family should be ordered. The courts of Charles I (1600–49) and his family (nos. 1–3) are shown with ceremonial formality and a respect for degree. Merchants of the Dutch Republic on the other hand seem to be involved in much more boisterous and convivial gatherings (nos. 4, 6 and 7).

Formal aristocratic manners became widespread in the last years of the seventeenth century, when the elites of Europe were dazzled by the example of Louis XIV’s Versailles. Conviviality and freedom of social interaction, in part inspired by the Dutch example, staged something of a come-back during the eighteenth century, as the glamour of Versailles faded.

Adriaen van Stalbemt (1580-1662)

A View of Greenwich

Bartholomeus van Bassen (Antwerp c.1590-The Hague 1652)

The King and Queen of Bohemia dining in Public

Godfried Schalcken (Made 1643-The Hague 1706)

The Game of 'Lady, come into the Garden'

Barent Graat (Amsterdam 1628- Amsterdam 1709)

A Family Group

Ludolf de Jongh (Rotterdam 1616-Hillegersberg 1679)

A formal Garden: three Ladies surprised by a Gentleman

Melchior de Hondecoeter (Utrecht 1636-Amsterdam 1695)

A Groom Assisting a Riding Master at the Manège

Melchior de Hondecoeter (Utrecht 1636-Amsterdam 1695)

Johan Ortt (1642-1701) on Horseback outside the Gate of Nijenrode Castle

Melchior de Hondecoeter (Utrecht 1636-Amsterdam 1695)

Grooms with Horses, a Grey and a Dark Bay, at Nijenrode Castle

Pieter de Hooch (Rotterdam 1629-Amsterdam 1684)

The Music Party