Charles I (2)

Ivan Gaskell in the Comments section of my blog asks the sensible and legitimate question as to whether or not it is right for art historians to focus on the range and quality of Charles I’s connoisseurship, his acquisition of the Gonzaga collection in 1629, and his use of Van Dyck to celebrate himself, his family and his particular style of kingship without obvious and explicit reference to the fact that his lavish personal expenditure, his suspension of parliament, his churchmanship, and his style of kingship contributed to civil war in the kingdom and the loss of his crown.   Maybe it is a cavalier and not a puritan exhibition.


2 thoughts on “Charles I (2)

  1. It’s a perfectly legitimate question, but, like Jonathan Jones in The Guardian, it misses the point – this is an exhibition about Charles’s Art, not a surrogate way of considering whether he was a good or wise Monarch, which he was not.

    But what he learnt from Arundel, and his amazing achievement in scooping up the Gonzago Collection, make this one of the defining collections of art in Britain, as the exhibition demonstrates triumphantly, bringing together Durer, Titian, Correggio etc etc.

    It’s a magnificent way of celebrating the Academy’s 250th Anniversary. Congratulations !

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