Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ireland book Vol 1 : Personalities : King James II

I have a bit of a soft spot for old Seamus of the Dung. I think over the years he has suffered from some smearing (pun intended). Perhaps it was a mid life crisis. Perhaps it was the pig headed stubbornness of the Stuarts.

Whatever it was all his good works seem to have been more than cancelled out by his reputation post 1685. I can't help but think much of that is a production of 17th century 'spin doctoring' and subsequent 18th and 19th century consolidation of power by the Hanoverian monarchs.

I was going to finish this iteration of King James in black (akin to the painting by Andrew Carrick Gow entitled 'A lost cause' the flight of James II after the Boyne).

Instead, I chose a rich blue coat for the worried monarch who  must gamble everything to regain his lost kingdom. The grey horse works very well in contrast to the blue coat.

I have painted the King before in the traditional red coat. He can be seen in the vignette below.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful and evocative figure Barry. The Blue and grey work well together. In many ways James was a more attractive character than William. He had the romantic aura of the Stuarts, the Royalists. But seemingly it was the cause not the man that inspired. Morose, moody and hesitant - you capture him in that figure. Perhaps the Scots got him right - 'dismal Jimmy' - that awful image of him descending the steps into the boat at Kinsale. Running away. In the end actions speak louder than words...


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