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British School, 17th century

Charles II Presented with a Pineapple c.1675-80

Oil on canvas | 96.6 x 114.5 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 406896

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The inclusion of the pineapple in this informal portrait is evidence of the prestigious associations of the plant in the late seventeenth century. The figure on the left is said to be John Rose (1629 – 77), gardener to Charles II, but the event cannot be the presentation of the first pineapple to the king as tradition maintains. Both Rose and Charles II died before the cherished aim of producing fruit from a pineapple plant was achieved in England. Instead, the painting may have been intended as a tribute to the life and work of Rose.