Antonio David

Prince Henry Benedict Clement Stuart, 1725 - 1807. Cardinal York; younger brother of Prince Charles Edward (1732)

About this artwork

The second son of James Francis Edward Stuart (the Old Pretender) was too young to accompany his brother to Scotland in 1745. Henry was appointed Cardinal York in 1747 and ordained as a priest in 1748. This angered Charles greatly, as he felt such a close association with the Roman Catholic Church could only hinder any hopes of restoring the dynasty to the British throne. On Charles's death in 1788, Henry styled himself King Henry IX, but it was an empty title. He lost much of his money during the French Revolution and his palace was sacked by the occupying army. The British government organised his escape to Venice and George III sent him money.

Antonio David

Antonio David

Antonio David's most celebrated credential was as an official painter of the exiled Jacobite court in Rome. Painting in his homeland of Italy, David worked for the Stuart dynasty for nearly twenty years. Copies of his portraits were circulated to the family's supporters throughout Europe. Due to a previous wrangle over a bill, the artist insisted on being paid in advance for his renowned pair of portraits of Prince Charles Edward Stuart and his brother Prince Henry, painted in 1729. David also painted portraits of Scottish Jacobite supporters.