study days

Charles I and II: Father, Son and the Great Collection

  • Tuesday 20 March 2018
    (10.45am to 4.30pm (access from 10.30am))
  • Brockway Room, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
  • Lecturer: Clare Ford-Wille

In January 2018 the Royal Academy will be mounting Charles I: King and Collector.  Over a hundred works of art will be exhibited which were originally part of the outstanding collection amassed by Charles but which were dispersed following his execution in 1649. This is the first time that an attempt has been made to bring together the paintings, sculptures and tapestries with which Charles I sought to rival the collections of his contemporaries. His agents, such as Balthasar Gerbier and Endymion Porter, were sent throughout Europe to collect works by Mantegna, Titian and Orazio Gentileschi for the king. Contemporary artists, such as Rubens, van Dyck and Gerrit van Honthorst were invited to the Royal Court.

At about the same time another exhibition, Charles II: Art and Power at the Queen’s Gallery, will represent, again for the first time, the resurgence in the arts after 1660 and the restoration of Charles II to the throne.  A magnificent range of sculpture, paintings, metalwork will show how Charles II sought to recover some of his father’s collection, as well as to collect and commission art as a patron in his own right.


10.45-11.45 Charles I the Collector
12.05-1.05 The Great Collection
2.10-3.10 Dispersal of the King’s Collection
3.30-4.30 Charles II, the dutiful son’s recovery of the Collection

Tea and coffee will be provided in the morning and afternoon breaks.


Clare Ford-Wille is an independent art historian, well known to members for her courses at Birkbeck and Morley College as well as a lecturer at the National Gallery, the V&A and The Arts Society groups in Britain and Europe. She has led many tours abroad. Clare is a Vice President of The London Art History Society.

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