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Studio of Sir Peter Lely, 1618–1680, Dutch, active in England (from 1643)

Prince Rupert of the Rhine

1666 to 1671
Oil on canvas
Support (PTG): 49 1/2 x 39 3/4 inches (125.7 x 101 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
cape | column (architectural element) | costume | curtain | German | man | noble (aristocrat) | portrait | prince | ruins | series (group) | staff (walking stick) | wig
Associated People:
Rupert, prince and count palatine of the Rhine and duke of Cumberland (1619–1682), royalist army and naval officer
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

This portrait of Prince Rupert (1619–1682), count palatine of the Rhine, and nephew of Charles I, exists in several different versions, all of which emerged from Peter Lely’s studio. The original portrait was one of thirteen “Flagmen,” a set of portraits of the officers who served under the command of James, Duke of York (the future James II), when he was Lord High Admiral during the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665–67). Prince Rupert’s costume is classically inspired, and the central fluted column that stands behind him not only emphasizes the classical scheme but likens Rupert to a pillar, essential for the support of the state. Valiant and impetuous, Rupert came to England as a cavalry commander for his uncle in the Civil War and settled in England permanently when his cousin Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660. He was also an amateur artist and is credited with introducing mezzotint printmaking to England.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Linda Colley, Crown Pictorial : Art and the British Monarchy : Exhibition Labels, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1990, pp.15-6, no. 38, N8219 K5 C761 1990 (YCBA)

Linda Colley, Crown Pictorial : Art and the British Monarchy, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1990, p. 29, no. 38, fig. 38, N8219 K5 C76 1990 (YCBA)

Malcolm Cormack, A Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 146-147, N590.2 A83 (YCBA)

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