King Charles II (oops!)

My last post on the Wolfe reminded me that I’d seen another picture that showed an unbuttoned fly. Bit later than 1640, painted post restoration by Isaac Fuller and showing the flight from Worcester of Charles II in 1650. Perhaps this is a comment on the construction of common clothing, or an attempt to show what was a current fashion statement. The English Antick also has an unbuttoned fly, one of the list of his ridiculous antics being “His codpiece unbuttoned and tied at the top with a bunch of riband”

5 Comments to “King Charles II (oops!)”

  1. If you check the other pictures in this series, the first that shows him donning his disguise has Charles’ fly closed but that of Richard Pendrel is open. In another, of Charles on Humphrey Pendrel’s mill horse, the state of Charles’ fly is unclear but Humphrey Pendrel’s is open. So this may just reflect the unreliability of fly fastenings on old working breeches.
    If the open fly of “the Wolfe” and the “English Antick” do reflect a cavalier fashion I suppose it could be in part copying this lower class trait

  2. On many of the Dutch Genre paintings the fly has no apparent means of closure and appears to be open. We should be wary of applying modern values to what is still medieval dress.

    • You’re quite correct Sue. I was being intentionally satirical and 21st century about the title and in no way was I trying to represent my views as that of someone from the 1640s

  3. I wonder who painted it and what were his political views? Given that he obviously painted the fly open deliberately, is it possible that this was a comment on Charles’ character rather than an illustration of the unreliability of 1640s clothing?

  4. Its post Restoration by Isaac Fuller as stated in text. He was commissioned to paint it , and the rest of the series on Charles’s escape after Worcester, by the King so can’t see him risking non payment or worse to put in details critical of Charles 😉

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