Lot 13
  • 13

Studio of Robert Peake the Elder

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
25,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Robert Peake the Elder
  • Portrait of Henry, Prince of Wales (1594-1612), full-length, standing, wearing armour and the order of the Garter
  • oil on canvas
  • 219.8 x 153.5 cm.; 86 1/2  x 60 3/8  in.


Charles Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis, 21st Baron Clinton (1863-1957), Bicton, Devonshire;1
His sale, London, Sotheby's, 19 July 1950, lot 122 (as Circle of Paul Van Somer);
Thence by family descent.

Catalogue Note

This full-length portrait is derived from a head and shoulders watercolour miniature on vellum of the Prince of Wales by Isaac Oliver, from circa 1610-20, in the Royal Collection.2 Though his principal interest lay in the Arts, Henry is cast here in the role of the warrior prince. Indeed, the armour depicted is found today in the Royal Collection and is of particular note as one of only two French tilt armours known to survive.3 It is believed to have been given to Prince Henry by Henri IV of France, to whom the Prince wrote a letter of thanks on 21 July 1607, and the enamelling visible here may indicate a date pre-1629, by which time the armour had been re-finished and the enamel removed.

Portraits of the Prince propagate the image of this simultaneously chivalric and erudite Stuart heir, who 'affected regularity in his chapel, chamber, and household, was seldom angry, [and] never gave foul word'4, but his untimely death at the age of 18 mean that contemporary likeness are comparatively rare. Robert Peake, as principal 'Picturemaker' to the royal household, had close links with the Prince, and his studio produced the majority of the extant oil portraits of Henry. A comparable full-length portrait was with The Weiss Gallery, London in 2011 (as Studio of Robert Peake)5, and a three-quarter-length, in which Henry wears the same armour (with enamelling), is in the National Trust collection at Dunster Castle.6

1. At the Clinton sale in 1950 the contents was described as 'with one or two exceptions, formed in the 18th century chiefly by the first Lord Rolle of the second creation (1750-1842) and by his uncle, John Rolle-Walter (died 1779).' The Clintons are connected to the Rolles through Margaret Rolle, granddaughter of the 13th Baron Clinton, who succeeded to the Barony in her own right in 1760.
2. Inv. no. RCIN 420058; see G. Reynolds, The Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century Miniatures in the collection of Her Majesty the Queen, London 1999, pp. 91-93, cat. no. 54, reproduced in colour.
3. Inv. no. RCIN 72830; see I. Eaves and A.V.B. Norman, Arms and Armour in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, London 2016, p. 165, reproduced fig. 61.  
4. J. Nicholls, The progresses, processions and magnificent festivities of King James the First, his royal consort, family and court, London 1828, vol. II, p. 33.
5. The Weiss Gallery, Facing the past. Early portraiture 1530-1780, London 2011, p. 26, cat. no. 8, reproduced in colour p. 27.
6. Inv. no. NT 726069.