About this artwork

Catherine of Braganza was the Portuguese queen-consort of Charles II. Plans for the king to marry one of the Portuguese princesses originated during his childhood, but it was not until 1662, two years after the Restoration, that Charles and Catherine were married. Her impressive dowry included Tangier, Bombay and £300,000. Catherine was constantly upstaged during her marriage by the king’s many mistresses. One of the ways in which she could separate herself from the licentious court was to promote her virtues and her position in her portraiture. This is a version of Jacob Huysmans’s portrait of her with various regal accoutrements (an orb, crown and an ermine-lined robe). This emphasises her role as queen, a position none of the king’s mistresses could hold.

  • title:
    Catherine of Braganza, 1638 - 1705. Queen of Charles II
  • accession number:
    PG 1121
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  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
    Around 1662 - 1665
  • measurements:
    114.30 x 92.10 cm (framed: 132.20 x 109.80 x 6.10 cm)
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1930
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve