King James II c.1685–1688

Artwork details

King James II
Date c.1685–1688
Medium Terracotta
Dimensions Object: 803 mm high
National Portrait Gallery, London
On short term loan
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1650

Display caption

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.

February 2016

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