An unusual depiction of King Charles I, probably painted after a lost original. The painting would originally have been displayed at the Guildhall as a sign of loyalty to the reigning monarch, although King Charles I was famously refused entry to the Parliamentarian city during the English Civil War. For this act of defiance his heir, King Charles II, ordered the destruction of Coventry's city walls. In his right hand the King holds a scrolled Magna Carta, interpreted by some as a later, ironic addition. One imagines this painting being removed and stored away during the Civil War as a demonstration of Parliamentarian support, yet thankfully it was not destroyed and was likely to have been quickly retrieved at the Restoration.
Where to see this painting?
St Mary’s Guildhall, Coventry
Bayley Lane, Coventry, West Midlands, England, CV1 5RN
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.