An Interview between Charles I and Oliver Cromwell

Daniel Maclise, 'An interview between Charles I and Oliver Cromwell', 1836

An Interview between Charles I and Oliver Cromwell, 1836

Oil on canvas, 184 x 235 cm

Purchased, Mr W. Dugdale, 1951

NGI. 1208

For this historical narrative painting Maclise invents a poignant moment in the life of Charles I, king of England. Charles I is depicted with his children, Henry and Henrietta, in the process of signing over his authority to Oliver Cromwell. The tragic king appears to comfort his children under the watchful gaze of Cromwell. Maclise portrays the royal family, dressed in glistening textiles, as pitiful figures bathed in bright light. In contrast the watchful figure of Cromwell and his attending officers are cast in dark, menacing shadow. The large void that separates the two groups emphasises this narrative of conflict and isolation.