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Newcastle University
National Civil War Centre

Portraits & Paintings

Find out about how portraits and paintings were used.

British Civil Wars > Propaganda & Printing > Portraits & Paintings

Portraits were used by the Stuarts (just like the Tudors before them) as propaganda. They portrayed the monarch in the way they wanted people to see them.

This portrait of Charles II, created in 1663, is a piece of royalist propaganda. It suggests that Charles has been chosen by God to rule and that people should be loyal to him.

942.061 MOC, Rare Books, Newcastle University Special Collections and Archives, GB 186


Study the above portrait of King Charles II from a book published in 1663.

  • How is Charles portrayed?
  • How does it suggest that Charles has been chosen to rule by God?
  • This piece of propaganda is promoting the idea of the ‘divine right of kings’. What was this?

To find out more about the idea of the 17th century beliefs including the idea of ‘the divine right of kings’, visit the Background section.

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