The Royal Academy will present an exhibition looking at one of the most influential art collections ever assembled from January 2018. 

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Anthony van Dyck’s Charles I, 1635-6. (c) Royal Collection. 

On display from the 27th January, Charles I: King and Collector will explore how the king acquired and commissioned masterpieces from the 15th to the 17th century, including works by Van Dyck, Rubens, Holbein, Titian and Mantegna.

The collection was sold off months after King Charles I was executed in 1649 and this exhibition will reunite around 150 works from the collection for the first time since the 17th century.

This exhibition will display ninety works lent from the Royal Collection by Her Majesty the Queen. Other major lenders will include The National Gallery, London, the Musée du Louvre, Paris, the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, as well as numerous other public and private collections.

By 1649, Charles I’s collection was comprised of around 1,500 paintings and 500 sculptures. In an inventory comprised by Abraham van der Doort (c.1580-1640), first Surveyor of The King’s Pictures, he  recorded the contents of the collection, providing a detailed account of the artistic tastes and high level of connoisseurship within the king’s circle.

Highlights of the exhibition is set to include Anthony van Dyck’s monumental portraits of the king and his family which will form the centre of the exhibition. Other highlights will include Andrea Mantegna’s monumental series, TheTriumph of Caesar, c.1484-92 (The Royal Collection),Titian’s Supper at Emmaus, c.1530 (Musée du Louvre, Paris), and Charles V with a Dog, 1533 (Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid). 

Christopher Le Brun, President, Royal Academy of Arts, said: “Charles I is one of history’s greatest collectors, the Royal Collection is one of the world’s greatest collections and the Royal Academy’s galleries are amongst the finest in the world.  With such a combination this exhibition provides the perfect launch for our 250th anniversary celebrations in 2018″.

Charles I: King and Collector will be on display at the Royal Academy of Arts from the 27th January until the 15th April 2018. For more information visit: https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/charles-i-king-and-collector

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