Conference: Charles I: King and Collector, 12 April 2018
Co-organised by the Royal Academy and the Paul Mellon Centre to coincide with the exhibition Charles I: King and Collector (Royal Academy of Arts, 27 Jan – 15 April 2018), organised by the Royal Academy in partnership with the Royal Collection Trust.
During his reign, King Charles I (1600-1649) assembled one of the most extraordinary art collections in Europe, including some of the greatest masterpieces from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century. In 1623, two years prior to his accession to the throne, Prince Charles visited Madrid, where the Habsburg collection made a lasting impression on the future King. Intent on reflecting his princely magnificence, he started his own collection, acquiring part of the esteemed collection of the Dukes of Mantua in 1628, and commissioning some of the most important artists of his own day, most notably Anthony van Dyck. The exhibition reunites many of these works for the first time since the king’s execution in 1649, when the collection was sold by the Commonwealth. It looks at the relationship between artists at court and those in the collection, with particular areas of focus including: artists, agents and associated collectors in the king’s circle; the Madrid visit and Gonzaga acquisition; royal portraits; the role of Queen Henrietta Maria; the Cabinet at Whitehall Palace; the Mortlake tapestries.
On the occasion of this landmark exhibition, this conference seeks to investigate the shape and development of Charles I’s collection. Selected papers will explore the internal and external factors that had a significant impact on collecting habits at the Stuart court, highlighting the latest research from a wide range of disciplines and themes.