Studio of Sir Peter Lely (1618-80)
This portrait derives from Peter Lely’s last official image of the King painted c.1675...
This grand portrait of King Charles II, who is shown wearing the sumptuous gowns of the Garter and seated before Windsor Castle, is one of the more recognisable full-length images of an English monarch and derives from Peter Lely’s last official image of the King painted c.1675.
After a long abeyance under the Republic, the Order of the Garter was re-established by Charles II at his Restoration. The King and the Companions took considerable pleasure in the opulence of the Garter costume; their habit of wearing the robes, not only for the Garter procession at Windsor and for the subsequent feast but for walking afterwards in Windsor Great Park, provoked the criticism of Samuel Pepys. Portraits of the King in Garter robes exist not only by the hand of Lely but also by Wright and Riley. Lely produced a number of full-length portraits of Garter knights in the late 1660s and 1670s, as well as a series of drawings that depict all of the participants in the Garter Procession which may have been intended for some grand but unexecuted decorative scheme.