Today and over the weekend many will be commemorating VE Day – May 8th 1945 being the day that hostilities in Europe ceased and people were insanely happy to be rid of war – well mostly, though there was the matter of the continuing hostilities with Japan which would be resolved three months later.
However, on another note 360 years ago today, the restoration of the monarchy was enacted and Charles was asked back to Britain as King. Or as Parliament stated that day “ That the King’s Majesty be desired to make his speedy Return to his Parliament, and to the Exercise of his Kingly Office”. Another reason for the bunting today perhaps…..
It was under the “merry monarch” that Britain was to see a flourishing of the arts after years of stagnation and some of the glorious images recently – briefly – displayed at Tate Britain in their British Baroque exhibition were created. Charles and his court were never depicted so well as his Baroque Beatuties showed off in front of the painters brush.
Charles was depicted by many artists particularly the outstanding Sir Peter Lely. At Timothy Langston we have a glorious picture indebted to Lely. Drawn by Edmund Ashfield in 1675 it is a scarce and an intimate portrayal of Charles as King.