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Princess Elizabeth, 1635 - 1650 and Princess Anne, 1637 - 1640. Daughters of Charles I 1637


This unique and delightful oil-study for Van Dyck's famous painting, 'The Five Eldest Children of Charles I', shows two-year-old Elizabeth, supporting the baby Anne. Van Dyck captures the chubby roundness and rosy colouring of the young princesses' faces offset by their linen caps and the elder sister's pearl necklace. The finished group portrait hung above the king's breakfast table at Whitehall and is still in the Royal Collection. Sadly both girls died young of tuberculosis: Anne was only three and Elizabeth fifteen. Her mother was convinced that Elizabeth had really died of a broken heart after her father's execution.

Glossary Open

Oil sketch

A rough drawing in oil paint, possibly the preliminary version of a painting. In the in the 18th and 19th centuries it is particularly associated with landscape sketches which were executed quickly outdoors and not intended for public display.

Oil sketch


  • Acc. No. PG 3010
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 29.80 x 41.80 cm (framed 53.30 x 60.30 x 8.90 cm)
  • Credit Purchased with the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Scottish Office and the Art Fund 1996