The Five Eldest Children of Charles I by Anton Van Dyck (1637)

This portrait depicts the children of the royal family only five years before the English Civil War. It is a master’s rendering of children of privilege.

The young boy staring straight at us will become Charles II, after an eighteen-year period of war, struggle, and exile; that little boy was only seven when Van Dyck painted him. His brother, James II, is the child directly to the left, wearing the cap; he was five years old

This painting was sold during the Interregunum and recovered by Charles II (who recovered many of the paintings, art work, jewels, and furniture sold or given away by the Puritan forces after their victory. It was probably also given away by James II during his reign, then recovered a second time by George III, who also greatly increased the royal art collections during his reign.

Yes, mad old George III, against whom America revolted.

Like my favorite portrait of Elizabeth I, this is also at Windsor Castle.

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