King & collector

Charles i

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Tuesday 13 March 2018



When Charles I took delivery of a secretly purchased group of paintings from the Duke of Mantua in 1627, at a stroke he raised the status of the English royal collection to one of the finest ever assembled.  Works by Mantegna, Titian and even unknown ‘moderns’ such as Caravaggio were installed at Whitehall and other royal palaces.

The King was part of the ‘Whitehall Circle’ which included the Earl of Arundel and the Duke of Buckingham, who between them dominated Court taste, shaping a desire for all things Italian. However, the state and private apartments were also full of Flemish and Dutch pictures, amazing sculptures, tapestries made at the recently founded Mortlake factory – a stupendous assemblage. Following the King’s execution in 1649, Parliament passed an ‘Act for the Sale of the Late King’s Goods’, which led to the dispersal of these masterpieces to collectors, some at home, but mostly abroad - the highlights went to Spain and France.

The Royal Academy’s exhibition, jointly organised with the Royal Collection Trust, will bring together for the first time since that Commonwealth sale some of the finest pieces sold off. Loans from the Prado, the Louvre, our own Royal Collection and many others have been secured, making this truly a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity.

Two morning lectures will be followed by an afternoon visit to the Royal Academy’s exhibition.  £76; RA Members £59.  £10 reduction for participants attending both Study Days.

Study Days in London are held at The Linnaean Society in Piccadilly and begin with coffee at 10.30 am; the lectures start at 11.00 am

  • Included: Morning coffee, two morning lectures, entry to the Royal Academy
  • Not included: Travel to/from London, Lunch
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