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This painting identifies King James II in his role as head of the Army. He wears a General Officer’s State coat, and the lines of troops in the distance refer to his annual review of the Army on Hounslow Heath, outside London. James II’s brief reign from 1685 to 1688 witnessed a considerable growth in the English Standing Army. As a Roman Catholic, James preferred his regiments to be officered wherever possible by fellow Catholics.
oil on canvas
H 241.7 x W 148.9 cm
purchased at Sotheby’s, 1987