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Charles II: Art & Power

Detail from Wright's portrait showing the head of Charles II

The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

  • Friday, 8 Dec 2017 - Sunday, 13 May 2018
  • Adult £11.00
    Over 60/ Student (with valid ID) £10.00
    Under 17/ Disabled £5.50
    Under 5 Free
    Family £27.50 (2 adults and 3 under 17s)
  • Adults, Groups (15+ people)

After over a decade of austere Cromwellian rule, the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 led to a resurgence of the arts in England.  The court of Charles II became the centre for the patronage of leading artists and the collecting of great works of art, which served not only as decoration for the royal apartments but also as a means of glorifying the restored monarchy and reinforcing the position of Charles II as the rightful king. 

From John Michael Wright's monumental portrait of Charles II in his coronation robes and a glittering silver-gilt plate which adorned the high-altar of Westminster Abbey during the King's coronation, to old master paintings, tapestries and spectacular silver-gilt furniture, the exhibition shows the rich material world of Charles II's court and the role of the arts in the re-establishment of the Stuart monarchy.

Highlight objects

John Michael Wright (1617-94)

Charles II (1630-1685)

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Oak (Quercus robur) and dyer's greenweed (Genista tinctoria)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525-1569)

Massacre of the Innocents

Map & directions

The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA
By train

London Victoria.  Visit National Rail Enquiries for times and fares.

By underground

Victoria, Green Park, St. James's Park and Hyde Park Corner.  For further information visit the Transport for London website.

By coach / bus

Bus numbers 11, 211, C1 and C10 stop on Buckingham Palace Road.  Victoria Coach Station is a 10-minute walk from the Palace.  For further information visit the Transport for London website.