James Hamilton by Daniël Mijtens, 1623
Mytens was born and trained in the Netherlands. From 1618 he worked in England for the most advanced court patrons. Compared with local artists, he offered a striking naturalism. Hamilton shared an interest in art-collecting with the future Charles I, whom Mytens painted in a similar pose. In 1623, the date of this picture, Hamilton had attended the Prince in Madrid during Charles’s unsuccessful attempt to marry a Spanish princess. There they saw portraits by the young Velasquez. Years later, during the Civil War, the royalist Hamilton was to prove a poor military leader. He was beheaded shortly after Charles himself.