“Charles I: King and Collector” exhibition by The Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2018

For the first time, a legendary art collection featuring artists from the Renaissance will be displayed—all from the collection of King Charles I

Jun 04, 2017 | By AFP Relaxnews

“Charles I at the Hunt” by d’Anthony van Dyck (c.1635) © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Christian Jean

From January 27 to April 15, 2018, The Royal Academy of Arts, in partnership with The Royal Collection Trust, will present “Charles I: King and Collector”. This will be a major exhibition that will reunite the art collection King Charles I of England (1600-1649)—one of the most extraordinary and influential art collections ever assembled. During his reign, the monarch acquired works dating from the 15th to 17th centuries, including pieces by Van Dyck, Rubens Holbein and Titian. The collection was dispersed after his execution in 1649.

Around 150 works from the former collection of Charles I will be reunited for the first time since the 17th century at The Royal Academy of Arts in London next year. The exhibition includes 90 works lent by Queen Elizabeth II, as well as works from The National Gallery in London, the Musée du Louvre in Paris and the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid.

Highlights include the monumental portraits of the king and his family by Anthony van Dyck: “Charles I and Henrietta Maria with Prince Charles and Princess Mary,” “Charles I on Horseback with M. de St. Antoine,” “Charles I on Horseback” and “Charles I at the Hunt.” The latter, lent by the Louvre, will return to England for the first time since the 17th century.


The show features various works by Rubens, including “Minerva Protects Pax from Mars” and “Landscape with Saint George and the Dragon,” as well as celebrated tapestries of Raphael’s “Acts of the Apostles.”

Works by major artists of the Renaissance also feature, including Correggio, Titian, Veronese, Dürer, Holbein the Younger and Bruegel the Elder.

Charles I: one of history’s greatest collectors

“Supper at Emmaus ” by Titian, (c.1530) © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Christian Jean

President of The Royal Academy of Arts, Christopher Le Brun, said: “Charles I is one of history’s greatest collectors, the Royal Collection is one of the world’s greatest collections and the Royal Academy’s galleries are amongst the finest in the world. With such a combination this exhibition provides the perfect launch for our 250th-anniversary celebrations in 2018.”

In the two years prior to his ascension to the throne, Prince Charles visited Madrid, which was under Habsburg rule at the time. The future king was impressed by the Habsburg art collection and returned home with various works, including paintings by Titian and Veronese. He built on this fledgeling collection by acquiring other pieces — including a collection accumulated by the Dukes of Mantua—and by commissioning works from artists such as Anthony van Dyck. By 1649, the collection of Charles I comprised around 1,500 paintings and 500 sculptures.

The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It is a privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists.

“Charles I: King and Collector” runs January 27 to April 15, 2018, at The Royal Academy of Arts in London, UK.

For more information, visit Royal Academy.

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