Charles I of England

   The son of James I and Anne of Denmark, Charles I became next in line to the British throne in 1612 when his elder brother died. In 1623, negotiations for his marriage to the Infanta Maria of Spain began, but these fell through when the Spaniards demanded that Charles convert to Catholicism. Instead he married Henrietta Maria of France, daughter of Henry IV and Marie de' Medici, also a Catholic. He ascended the throne in 1625. Confrontations with Parliament and the Puritans, who opposed his marriage to a Catholic and his religious policies, resulted in civil war, his trial, and execution. Charles was an important patron of the arts. Orazio Gentileschi became his court painter in 1625 and rendered the Allegory of Peace on the ceiling of the Queen's House in Greenwich (1638-1639), built by Inigo Jones. Peter Paul Rubens painted for Charles the Apotheosis of James I (1629) for Inigo's Banqueting House in Whitehall Palace, in front of which the king was executed in 1649. Anthony van Dyck was also in Charles' court and painted Le Roi à la Chasse Portrait of Charles I; 1635; Paris Louvre, one of the most remarkable royal portraits in history.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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