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In 2018, on the occasion of its 250th anniversary, the Royal Academy of Arts is organising a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition on the legendary art collection of King Charles I. During his reign, he acquired works by some of the finest artists of the past – Titian, Holbein, Mantegna – and commissioned leading contemporaries such as Van Dyck and Rubens.

Following the King’s execution in 1649, his collection was sold off and scattered across Europe. While many works were recovered at the Restoration, others now form the core of museums such as the Louvre and the Prado. Organised in partnership with Royal Collection Trust, Charles I: King and Collector will reunite these astounding treasures.

On the occasion of this landmark event, MRT is holding a study day with lectures by three outstanding experts followed by lunch and a visit to the exhibition. Two of the speakers are the exhibition’s curators, Dr Per Rumberg, Curator at the Royal Academy, and Dr Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures; the third is historian Leanda de Lisle, author of the forthcoming book White King: Charles I – Traitor, Murderer, Martyr. The talks take place in the Society of Antiquaries, one of the five Learned Societies based at Burlington House.

Admission to the exhibition is by pre-booked ticket only and entry will be staggered across two time slots to ensure everyone has a comparatively unimpeded view of the array of miniatures, drawings, paintings, sculptures and an extraordinary set of tapestries that will be on display. Audio guides are included, and the speakers will be on hand to respond to questions.


Read The Spectator's review of Leanda De Lisle's White King: Charles I – Traitor, Murderer, Martyr here

'Throughout, De Lisle effortlessly carries the reader along with her as she recreates the tragedy of Charles I and the Civil War. Her book is beautifully constructed, telling the story chronologically with a nice eye for detail, illuminating each period and major character by a vivid tableau, but with plenty of analysis … This is the most gripping piece of revisionist history I have read for a long time.'

Start: 10.10am, Society of Antiquaries. Doors open for the lecture at 9.50am.

Finish: you enter the exhibition between 2.30pm and c. 3.00pm; you stay as long as you want, but the exhibition closes at 6.00pm.

Price: £195, £179 for RA members. This includes morning refreshments, lunch and admission to the RA exhibition.

Group size: maximum 80 participants.

Map: London Days.