Liverpool artwork of the day – Tuesday June 5 2007. ‘King Charles II’ 1685 Godfrey Kneller (1646 – 1723) Oil on canvas. In The Walker
This looks all wrong to me, I think the artist spent so much effort on making the fabric look splendidly realistic he forgot about the figure. The pose is a mess and the head looks like its been stuck on later – about 15cm above where it should be.
Kneller came to England from Germany in 1676 and soon gained royal favour.
In this work, the king’s authority is subtly undermined: his face is stiff, his hand limp and the crown and orb are hidden in shadow. Kneller presents an aging and even lonely figure.
This is the last of his portraits of Charles II. It was probably begun just before the king’s death and finished afterwards