The Collections

A Maritime View of Charles II's England

Created: 06.07.11

I have chosen ten objects that were made during the reign of Charles II (1660-1685), a period of restored monarchy after more than a decade of civil war and Parliamentarian government. My selection highlights the patronage of the court (especially where it concerned the Navy) and maps the delicate balance of power in Europe between England, France and the Dutch Republic. It is no coincidence that at least half of the ten objects were made by immigrant artists, mostly from the Low Countries. Highly skilled artists and craftsmen from Continental Europe were encouraged to travel to England during the Restoration, and their presence helped to shape the course of British art for several generations. The fact that the English and Dutch were at war for much of the period does not seem to have deterred the movement of artists across the North Sea.

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