Follower of Antonio David
"Prince Charles Edward Stuart, 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' (1720-1788)", ca. 1730-1745
oil on canvas
unsigned, painted after the original commissioned in Rome in 1732 by his father, James, son of the exiled Stuart King James II and VII.
28-1/2" x 24"
Notes: Charles Edward Stuart, known by the sobriquet Bonnie Prince Charlie, grew up in exile in Rome with his father, James Francis Edward Stuart, the heir apparent to James II and VII, King of England, Ireland and Scotland. James was exiled as an infant after King James was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1668, and his older Protestant half-sister Mary II and her husband William III of Orange were declared Queen and King. Despite two attempted coups d'etat in 1715 and 1745, neither father nor son was able to reclaim the throne, and remained in Rome. In 1729, James Stuart commissioned the Jacobite (Catholic) court artist Antonio David to paint portraits of his sons Charles and Henry. As the eldest, and heir apparent should the Catholic faction be restored, there was great demand for copies of the young hopeful monarch, Bonnie Prince Charlie. David and his workshop executed several copies, making it difficult to discern the" original". The Scottish National Gallery has a 1732 portrait also by David that matches the exact measurements of the one offered here, and the National Portrait Gallery in London has a slightly smaller 1729 one from the studio of David. The "copy" in the Blairs Museum was brought to Scotland in the early 18th century from Abbe Peter Grant, and another, painted by the circle of David and gifted (by repute) by King James and Maria Sobieska, recently sold at Lyon & Turnbull in London for $63,000. Numerous as the copies are, period works, such as these, are highly coveted rarities at auction.
In overall very good condition. The painting exhibits signs of professional past restoration including
relining, revarnishing and scattered areas of inpainting, mostly to the upper half of the background. No
inpainting was detected in the head or majority of the body. There is some small inpainting to the right
sleeve and lower right corner. There is a 1/8" crack to pigment with subsequent tenting to the center
background, which is not readily visible, unless viewed in raking light. A teardrop-shaped accretion to the
lower part of the sash is visible in both white and UV lighting. Some faint surface abrading appears along
the bottom of the canvas, likely due to friction from the frame edge. Faint craquelure is scattered
throughout and minor vertical stretcher lines are present.