- Unknown Artist
- Object: 803 mm high
- National Portrait Gallery, London
On short term loan
James II (1633–1701) succeeded his brother Charles II as king in 1685. As a Roman Catholic he was mistrusted in Britain, then a Protestant country with a history of religious conflict. The birth of a male heir in 1688 and the prospect of a Catholic dynasty led Protestant noblemen to invite William of Orange and his wife Mary (James II’s daughter) to take the crown in the ‘Glorious Revolution’. James was exiled, and his ambitions of returning as king ended in defeat at the Battle of the Boyne (1690). This bust displays the extravagant ‘baroque’ style of the period.
Gallery label, February 2016