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Charles I, 1600 - 1649. Reigned 1625 - 1649 (The Execution of Charles I) about 1649


  • Scottish Art
This painting, probably based on eye-witness accounts and contemporary engravings, records the execution of Charles I on 30 January 1649 at Whitehall, after a long and bitter civil war. The inset pictures on the left show Charles as he appeared at his trial, and below, Charles walking to the scaffold. Those on the right show the moments immediately after the execution: the axeman holds up Charles's severed head while spectators hurry to dip their handkerchiefs in royal blood. The central image, with the swooning woman, hints at a parallel with Christ's crucifixion.

Glossary Open


The printmaking technique in which an image is inscribed on a copper plate with a tool that cuts a groove in the surface. This groove holds the ink that creates the print when it is applied to paper. Also refers to the method of making an incision on a material such as glass.



  • Acc. No. PGL 208
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 163.20 x 296.80 cm (framed: 316.86 x 182.24 x 6.98 cm)
  • Credit On loan from Lord Dalmeny since 1951