James VI and I

de Critz, John the elderc.1606

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery
London, United Kingdom

"John de Critz - a Flemish artist who came to London as a Huguenot refugee - became one of the most successful and influential painters in London. In 1603 he became Serjeant Painter to the Crown and was responsible for the creation of the standard portrait of King James, many copies of which were then made.

James I is shown wearing a padded doublet and standing on a precious turkey carpet, of the pattern named after the Venetian painter Lotto. He wears two legendary royal jewels - the Great George on his chest, and The Feather, a cockade of diamonds and other precious stones, in his hat."


  • Title: James VI and I
  • Creator Lifespan: c.1551/2 - 1642
  • Date: c.1606
  • Physical Dimensions: w1295 x h2005 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Notes: Other full-length version at Cambridge University and the Museo del Prado, Madrid. Three-quarter length versions in the National Maritime Museum and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Versions of the head only are in the National Portrait Gallery and DPG384.
  • Work Nationality: British
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: ?Holland House, bef. 1716, in which year it passed to the Countess of Warwick, on her marriage to Joseph Addison (Bilton Hall, nr Rugby); Christie's, Bilton sale, 28 Jun. 1898, lot 12. Bt H. Yates Thompson; Gift of H. Yates Thompson, 1898.
  • Further Information: James (1566-1625) was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Lord Darnley. He was crowned as James VI of Scotland and James I of England in 1603. He was a reluctant sitter and in his few portraits Henry Peacham found that artists committed two principal errors, 'the one in the complexion and haire, the other is in the mouth, which commonly they draw with a full and great netherlip very apparent, wherein they commit the chiefest error.' DPG548 is one of four known full-length versions of a type originated probably by De Critz in 1606. The others are at Loseley Park, in the Prado and in a private collection. DPG548 was attributed in 1926 to Gheeraerts and said to be signed, but the 'signature' (which had already been doubted) was presumably false and must have been removed during cleaning in 1953.
  • Attributed to: de Critz, John the elder
  • Acquisition Method: Yates Thompson, Henry (Gift, 1917)

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