Dutch School 17th Century

A Portrait of a Young Boy, dressed in Black with a Red Sash wearing a Plumed Hat with a Sword and holding Gloves and a Staff


Oil on Canvas




140.3(h) x 87(w) cms

Framed Dimensions:

161(h) x 109(w) cms


Traditionally identified as a portrait of the Prince of Wales, later King Charles II (1630-1685), this portrait undoubtedly comes from the mid-seventeenth century. Described as a picture by 'Mittins' (presumably Daniel Mijtens) in 1801 and later in the 20th century as by Gerrit van Honthorst, we can assume the artist was a Dutch emigre to England or perhaps a native painter who studied under one.

The boy's costume is reminiscent of the extravagant outfits found in militia company paintings common in the Dutch Republic and in portraits of cavaliers from the English Civil War which helps to date the painting to the 1640s. Dressed as a dashing young soldier the boy holds a staff of office and wields a sword at his side. He wears a slashed black doublet with silk sleeves showing underneath, a short laced collar, and short buff boots with bows to match his gloves. The unusual flared black boothose with its gold filigree matches his breeches with their flamboyant ribbons. A painting of Charles II as a boy attributed to William Dobson at Kinloch Castle provides a useful comparison, both in fashion and pose. Here Charles II holds a similar plumed cavalier's hat with a bow much like our own sitter's hat, suggesting that the boy is dressed in the finest of Royalist fashion.

A note on the provenance:
Ombersley Court is a grade I-listed country house in Worcestershire which was home to the Sandys family for 300 years.


(Probably) Mary, Marchioness of Downshire and 1st Baroness Sandys (1764-1836), Hanover Square, by 1801, and thence by descent in the family to;
Richard Hill, 7th Baron Sandys (1931-2013), Ombersley Court, Worcestershire.


(Probably) An Inventory and Valuation of the Pictures at Hanover Square, 5 November 1801, no. 56, as 'King Charles when a Boy by Mittins'.
ONM / 1 / 2 / 7, journal entry for a visit to Ombersley Court, 25 August 1950, Oliver Millar Archive, Paul Mellon Centre, London, p. 31, as 'probably Dutch'.
Ombersley Court Inventory, annotated Ombersley MS., June 1963, as 'Gerrit van Honthorst', where listed in the Library.
Ombersley Court Catalogue of Pictures, undated, Ombersley MS., p. 23, as 'Gerrit van Honthorst', where listed in the Study.