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Group portrait of Prince Rupert, William Legge and Colonel John Russell c1644-45, by William Dobson

How might this group portrait, painted in Oxford during the Civil War, have been interpreted at the time? Consider how Royalists and Parliamentarians may have responded to it.

Commissioned by John Russell in the winter of 1645-6 this painting is a unique artefact of the English Civil War. It shows a meeting between three Royalist commanders who were then based in Oxford, home to the royal court in exile. The group are Prince Rupert of the Rhine (L), the Kingís nephew, Colonel William Legge (centre) and Colonel John Russell (R), commander of the princeís elite Blue Coats. The painting is filled with symbols and references to the recent discord between the King and his nephew and to Rupertís enduring loyalty. Gallery 44: European Art

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