Charles Seton was a leading covenanter – one who opposed the religious policies of King Charles I. Essentially a moderate, he nevertheless took part in his enemies’ unsuccessful campaign to free the king in 1648. After Charles’s execution, he supported Charles II and, at the Restoration in 1660, he was appointed to various high offices of state. At his death in 1672, his two sons, Alexander and James Seton, 3rd and 4th Earls of Dunfermline, succeeded him in turn. Both died without heirs, and the title became extinct when James Seton was outlawed for Jacobite sympathies. The impact of this portrait derives from Van Dyck’s almost abstract treatment of Seton’s robes, and the contrast of the stripes of gold brocade and white ermine with the scarlet cloth and white satin.