Prince James Francis Edward Stuart was the son of the exiled King James II and VII. On the death of his father in 1701 he was proclaimed King by his Jacobite supporters but attempts at regaining the thrones of England and Scotland failed. After the unsuccessful invasion of 1715 James was forced to live in Avignon, which was then Papal territory, until the pope offered him refuge in Rome, where he lived until his death. This painting is a copy of a portrait by Martin van Meytens, made in Rome as one of a pair – the other being of James’s wife Maria Clementina. Painted after the birth of their second son Henry, they were mutual presents, each to be hung in the other’s private rooms. Several copies of these works were produced to be given as presents to Jacobite supporters.