About this artwork

James, Duke of Hamilton, was the close friend and principal Scottish advisor to Charles I. This picture shows him aged twenty-three dressed in a rich silver suit, embroidered with metal thread, and the softest leather boots, folded back into deep tops. Hamilton appreciated the work of Mytens, the leading court portraitist, and he had been painted by him six years earlier. Like his king, Hamilton was a keen collector of art. Following his king politically cost Hamilton his head. He was executed less than six weeks after the king, on the same scaffold at Whitehall.

  • title: James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton, 1606 - 1649. Royalist
  • accession number: PG 2722
  • artist: Daniel MytensDutch (about 1590 - about 1647)
  • depicted: James Hamilton
  • gallery: Scottish National Portrait Gallery(On Display)
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Aristocracy
  • materials: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1629
  • measurements: 221.00 x 139.70 cm (framed: 242.00 x 162.00 x 8.00 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased with help from the Art Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Pilgrims Trust 1987
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Daniel Mytens

Daniel Mytens

Daniel Mytens, who came from a family of painters, was born in Delft and trained in The Hague. He was in London by 1618 when he was working for the Earl and Countess of Arundel. He first painted King James VI and I in 1621 and was appointed 'picture-drawer' to Charles I on his accession to the throne in 1625. Until the arrival of Van Dyck at the court in 1632 he was the favoured portrait painter of the royal family and leading aristocrats. Superceded by Van Dyck, he retired to The Hague where he continued to work for his old patron, the Earl of Arundel, helping him acquire works of art.