Charles I and Sir Edward Walker

Painted by an unknown artist shortly after 1650, this is a study of Charles and his Secretary at War Edmund Walker, ostensibly on campaign. The poses are staged in a tableau of Charles dictating a despatch, or maybe a proclamation to go to the printers. It’s such a static scene that it almost looks like a wax work, though notice all the subtle differences, not just in the poses, but also the clothes they are wearing that mark Charles out as the leader and Sir Edmund as the follower

Both men are wearing the blue ribbon as members of the Order of the Garter. They are both also oddly colour coordinated with each other, wearing blue doublet and breeches embroidered with gold thread, though the King’s doublet is more finely figured. Their buff coats match, though again Charles’s is more highly decorated. Edmund’s linen is plain whilst the King’s is edged with lace. He is also sporting a gilded breastplate. The picture hangs in the NPG in London and is © National Portrait Gallery.

Charles & Walker

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