portrait of charles louis karl ludwig prince palatine c1635 studio of gerrit van honthorst

Portrait of Charles Louis (Karl Ludwig), Prince Palatine c.1635; Studio of Gerrit van Honthorst.


Price

SOLD

Item Ref

9077

Description

Oil on oak panel.
CHARLES LOUIS, (German: Karl I. Ludwig), Elector Palatine KG (22 December 1617 – 28 August 1680) was the second son of German elector Frederick V of the Palatinate, the "Winter King" of Bohemia, and his wife, Elizabeth of England. He is shown here wearing the sash and insignia of the Order of the Garter given to him by Charles I.
After the death of his older brother, Henry Frederick, in 1629, and of his father in 1632, Charles Louis inherited his exiled father's possessions in the Electorate of the Palatinate. Along with his younger brother Rupert, he spent much of the 1630s at the court of his maternal uncle, Charles I of England, hoping to enlist English support for his cause. The young Elector Palatine was largely unsuccessful in this, and became gradually estranged from the King, who feared that Charles Louis might become a focus for opposition forces in England. Indeed, in the English crisis leading up to the outbreak of the English Civil War, Charles Louis had considerable sympathy for the parliamentary leaders, especially the Earl of Essex, feeling them more likely to come to the aid of the Palatinate on the continent. Although Charles Louis was involved in the early stages of the Civil War with his uncle, he was mistrusted for his parliamentary sympathies, and soon returned to his mother in The Hague. There he distanced himself from the royalist cause in the Civil War, fearing that Charles would sell him out for Spanish support.
In 1644, Charles Louis returned to England at the invitation of Parliament. He took the Solemn League and Covenant, even though his brothers, Rupert and Maurice, were Royalist generals. Contemporaries (including King Charles) believed that Charles Louis' motive in visiting Roundhead London was that he hoped that Parliament would enthrone him in place of his uncle. Charles Louis' endorsement of the Parliamentary party was a cause of enmity between uncle and nephew, and when a captive Charles I met his nephew once again in 1647, the elder Charles accused the Prince of angling for the English throne. Charles Louis was still in England in October 1648 when the Peace of Westphalia restored the Lower Palatinate to him. He remained in England long enough to see the execution of his uncle in January 1649, which appears to have come as a shock. The two had not reconciled prior to the King's death – Charles refused to see his nephew before his execution.
After this unhappy dénouement to Charles Louis's participation in English politics, he at last returned to the now devastated Electorate of the Palatinate in the autumn of 1649. Over the more than thirty years of his reign there, he strove with some success to rebuild his shattered territory. In foreign affairs, he pursued a pro-French course, marrying his daughter Elizabeth Charlotte to Philip I, Duke of Orléans, Louis XIV's brother, in 1671. After his restoration, his relations with his relatives continued to deteriorate – his British relations never forgave him for his course in the Civil War, while his mother and siblings resented his parsimony.
GERRIT VAN HONTHORST (1592 – 1656) was a Dutch Golden Age painter; born in Utrecht,
He built a considerable reputation both in the Dutch Republic and abroad. Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, mother of Prince Rupert, sister of Charles I of England, then in exile in the Netherlands, commissioned Honthorst as a painter. Through her he became known to King Charles, who invited him to England in 1628. After his return to Utrecht, Honthorst retained the patronage of the English monarch.
SIZE: 35 .5 x 29.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Collection of Lord Berners, Faringdon House, Oxfordshire. (See last 3 images).
Internal Ref: 9077


Dimensions

Height = 89 cm (35")
Width = 74 cm (29")
Depth = 4 cm (2")



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