after Anthony van Dyck, Equestrian Portrait of Charles I

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Equestrian Portrait of Charles I
? later 17th century
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 94.5 cm, Overall width: 84 cm
after Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641)
Catalogue Number


Van Dyck’s celebrated Equestrian Portrait of Charles I (or Charles I on Horseback), now in the National Gallery, London, was painted for the king in about 1637–8 (fig. 1). It also exists in a smaller version (Royal Collection Trust; fig. 2), of which the Trewithen picture is a highly competent copy.1 The National Gallery and Royal Collection compositions differ in several respects, and in nearly every instance of difference the Trewithen portrait more closely resembles the Royal Collection version: in details of the foreground and in the wood, the form of the canopy of leaves, the positioning of the dead tree on which the tablet is propped and in the attendant’s figure and the helmet. A great many copies of the Royal Collection picture are recorded, some of which were apparently painted in the eighteenth century and later. Good copies include those at Abercairny House, Audley End, Ashburnham Place, Warwick Castle and in the Clarendon Collection.2 In 1829 the present picture was displayed in the Saloon, and in 1928 in the Nursery Corridor.

c. 1637–8. Oil on canvas, 367 x 292.1 cm. The National Gallery, London (NG1172).

Figure 1.
Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Equestrian Portrait of Charles I, c. 1637–8. Oil on canvas, 367 x 292.1 cm. The National Gallery, London (NG1172).

Digital image courtesy of The National Gallery, London. (All rights reserved)

c. 1635–6. Oil on canvas, 96 x 86.3 cm. The Royal Collection Trust (RCIN 400571).

Figure 2.
Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Charles I on Horseback, c. 1635–6. Oil on canvas, 96 x 86.3 cm. The Royal Collection Trust (RCIN 400571).

Digital image courtesy of Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021. (All rights reserved)

by Emily Burns


  1. Both catalogued in Susan J. Barnes et al., Van Dyck: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004, pp. 468–71, IV.51 and IV.52. Early full-size copies of the National Gallery version are in the Prado and (formerly) at Hitchin Priory, and reduced-size copies have been recorded at Hellens, Much Marcle, Ickworth and the Clarendon Collection. Not to be mistaken for Van Dyck’s other portrait of the king on horseback, Charles I on Horseback with M. de St Antoine (Royal Collection): ibid., pp. 462–8, IV.47.

  2. Ibid., p. 471, IV.52.


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