The Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart

The Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart

The Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'
Enamel on copper in original papier-mâché frame with gilded copper-alloy mounts
Denis Brownell Murphy (about 1745-1842), after an unknown version
Scotland
1804
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.240:1, 2-2008

Denis Brownell Murphy was born in Dublin and worked in England, Ireland and Scotland before finally settling in London in around 1803.

This portrait comes from a set of miniature enamel portraits painted by Brownell Murphy illustrating the lineage of the House of Stuart, using portraits in Scottish collections as source material. The series starts with Mary, Queen of Scots (reigned 1542-67) and ends with James Francis Edward Stuart (1688-1766) and Charles Edward Stuart (1720-88), neither of whom became king. While they are depicted in a way that emphasises their part in the royal succession, the frames of their portraits are missing the symbolic crowns of kingship present on the other portrait frames in the series.

This portrait shows Charles Edward Stuart, known as 'Bonnie Prince Charlie', dressed in Stuart tartan with a blue velvet tam, with blue sash and star, and the Order of the Garter, which he was awarded in his exile despite the rebellion.