Charles I (again)

We went to our Charles I exhibition again yesterday afternoon in order to enjoy it as much as possible before it closes in less than three week’s time and is dispersed for another 350 years. Two things struck me. The first is that Charles I is wearing a pearl earring in the Triple Portrait (and, also, in the National Gallery’s equestrian portait and the Louvre portrait, too). He is apparently first shown wearing it (always the same pearl earring, always in his left ear) in a portrait by Isaac Oliver, painted when he was fifteen; and he was apparently still wearing it at his execution. I had totally forgotten, also, that the earring survives, inherited by the Dukes of Portland from the first Earl who received it as a gift from Queen Mary and that it’s on display in the Harley Gallery at Welbeck (strongly recommended). The other thing that struck me was the amazing quality of the painting of the clothes in Jacopo Bassano’s Journey of Jacob (Royal Collection). But then there is always something new to see and appreciate.

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3 thoughts on “Charles I (again)

  1. Does it really only have less than three weeks? That’s so sad. It is a truly MEMORABLE exhibition, the perfect start to your 250th celebrations, and a triumph for Per Rumberg in his first exhibition as Keeper of the RA’s Old Masters collection.

    Many congratulations to all concerned.

  2. Charles – I have visited this really wonderful exhibiiton several times & persuaded a number of friends to come from Paris to see it (one of whom wrote two articles in Le Figaro). On my last visit last week, I was wondering how on earth the huge Mortlake tapestries are usually kept/stored, how they travelled to London, how they were “unwrapped” and hung, how they will be unhung. And then advancing further to the HUGE canvases in the octagon/circular space – how are they taken down, moved out. And I wondered whether anyone is making a video of it all. There is still time, with three weeks to run, and as the RA is obviously thinking about life behind thescenes (with you new RA film being shown soon at the Curzon Mayfair) a video of taking down the Charles I show seems obvious – even a short one!

    • Dear Thomas, I think I can only answer your question about the Mortlake Tapestries which are owned by the Mobilier National, the furniture store set up by Colbert in 1663 on the left bank not far from the Place d’Italie (I have never been). I assume they came rolled up. Charles

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