The Sale of the Late King's Goods

Charles I and His Art Collection

3.76 based on 17 ratings & 3 reviews on Goodreads.com
Pan

Publication date: 14.12.2017
ISBN: 9781509865277
Number of pages: 448

Synopsis

Set against the backdrop of war, revolution, and regicide, and moving from London to Venice, Mantua, Madrid, Paris and the Low Countries, Jerry Brotton’s colourful and critically acclaimed book, The Sale of the Late King's Goods, explores the formation and dispersal of King Charles I’s art collection. Following a remarkable and unprecedented Parliamentary Act for ‘The sale of the late king’s goods’, Cromwell’s republican regime sold off nearly 2,000 paintings, tapestries, statues and drawings in an attempt to settle the dead king’s enormous debts and raise money for the Commonwealth’s military forces.

Brotton recreates the extraordinary circumstances of this sale, in which for the first time ordinary working people were able to handle and own works by the great masters. He also examines the abiding relationship between art and power, revealing how the current Royal Collection emerged from this turbulent period, and paints its own vivid and dramatic picture of one of the greatest lost collections in English history.

In the media

Jerry Brotton holds a magnifying glass to the amassing of the royal collection and its later dispersal…bustles with fascinating detail
History Today
Jerry Brotton, a young historian with an enviable command of the secondary literature, both historical and art-historical, and a good understanding of the way objects and works of art assume ideological significance, has told the amazing story of Charles I’s collection and its subsequent sale in full
Literary Review
Provocative…admirably researched and compellingly narrated
Sunday Times